Chelsea legend Didier Drogba explains why African teams struggle at the World Cup

Didier Drogba
Photo: AFP

Chelsea and Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba has explained why African teams struggle at the World Cup.

No African nation has ever reached the semi-finals of the tournament despite Africa producing stars like Drogba, Michael Essien, John Obi Mikel, Yaya Toure, Samuel Eto’o and co.

Speaking to the BBC, Drogba said that while it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what the problem is, he did have one theory that may explain the struggles.

“When you look at the game [Senegal vs the Netherlands], Mane on his own couldn’t have done much better than what we saw,” the former striker said.

“It’s very difficult for African teams because you’ve got individualities. They’re very good in their clubs, especially those playing in Europe.

“But when they come together, it becomes more difficult for the manager to find the right system. To play the right guys at the right position, to keep that intensity that is required when you play at that kind of level.”

While most squads are made up of players plying their trade across many different clubs, as Drogba suggests, African teams push that to the extreme.

Tunisia’s squad for example is composed of 26 players, who play in 13 different countries across three continents, compared to say Germany’s players who are all based in just three countries across Europe.