The World Cup Group of Death: Drogba the Reaper
The African Cup of Nations and World Cup draws have both ended. And I take from these events one unalterable and eternal truth: Didier Drogba is death.
Allow me to make my case.
In 2006, the Ivory Coast was drawn with Serbia, Argentina, and the Netherlands. Argentina had been knocked out of the 2002 World Cup in the first round, the Dutch implode like clockwork, and Serbia was, and is, Serbia. So what made that group so menacing? Was it Roman Riquelme’s footspeed? Nemanja Vidic’s footskills? Marco Van Basten’s charming personality? No. It was one man. Didier Drogba.
The African Cup of Nations pot 1 group, with Egypt and Camaroon, would be a difficult group…but for Drogba’s ominous presence. Now all shudder for fear of the mask of the red death. And the World Cup 2010? Group G? G stands for grisly demise. The North Korean Republic may not make your knees tremble, but neither Portugal nor Brazil wanted to cross swords with the Coite d’Voire. Why? Surely Carvahlo and Alex have some tips and tricks on stopping Didier from Chelsea training sessions.
But there is only one way to stop Didier: die. Die slowly. Die painfully. Die…mercilessly.
Now I am a lover of alliteration, so Drogba tickles my fancy in that regard. But he also does play football. And play it quite well. In many ways, Drogba’s game reflects all of societies’ preoccupations and fascination with death. He attacks in many forms…
You thought you’d see your own demise a mile away? Didier Drogba is not opposed to throwing hand grenades from afar, all the better to surprise you.
I’m sorry – did you think you were smarter than death? Didier Drogba is no fool – at times, he will out think you.
I’m sorry, did you think you could outmuscle death? Drogba leaps into danger with little to fear.
I know your retort – Drogba does dive. But what happens when Drogba the shadow on the ground picks himself up, sharpens his scythe, and the fire in his eyes burns into your very soul?
The Ivory Coast is a fine side, with the Toures locking down the defense and Kalou making neat cameo appearences. But only one player haunts central defender’s dreams. Only one player, in the blink of an eye, can cause the demise of two years of World Cup qualifying.
Sleep tight Carvahlo. Sleep tight, Alex. Drogba is watching you train every single day…and only he knows the contents of the last chapter of your storied careers.
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