Didier Drogba, Pato and others to focus on in South Africa this summer
- Getty ImagesDidier Drogba looks to bring home a World Cup to an African nation this summer.
This story appears in the December 14, 2009 issue of ESPN The Magazine. To keep up with U.S. soccer at all points, check out the corresponding Insider blog.
The prophet Pelé once declared that an African team would win the World Cup before the year 2000. While the Great One's prediction did not come to pass, he had the right idea: African football is now a true world power. The one player who most embodies the continent's meteoric rise is Ivory Coast star Didier Drogba, the best player on the African team most likely to make a deep run in 2010. A lightning rod for English Premier League power Chelsea, the 6'2" striker is known as much for his spectacular goals as for his no-holds-barred reactions when things don't go his way. In short, Drogba demands attention, and he has eagerly seized the role of the face of the world's biggest sporting event. "It's a chance for the African continent to show another side of itself from the one people usually see, by which I mean war or poverty," Drogba says. "It's a chance to prove we're capable of bringing joy and happiness to the whole world." If you don't know Drogba already, here's another prediction: You will soon enough.
To continue reading about 2010 World Cup themes -- Spain, Brazil, North Korea and Landon Donovan among them -- you must be an ESPN Insider.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
ESPN TOP HEADLINES
- Reports: Saints to release Sproles if no trade
- Sources: Lakers talk state of team after rout
- South Carolina coach Martin sorry for outburst
- Noah declines to talk about Carmelo 'gossip'
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM