AFCON 2023: Aurier, captain appointed to guide the Ivorian regiment

AFCON 2023: Aurier, captain appointed to guide the Ivorian regiment

At the age of 31, Serge Aurier will be taking part in his 5th Africa Cup of Nations with Côte d'Ivoire, and on home soil at that. With his wealth of experience, the Nottingham Forest player will be his coach's main man on the pitch, as he tries to guide the Elephants to victory.

Serge Aurier, the ball of energy, has been the focus of attention since his explosive debut for Toulouse in 2012. Many saw him as a future starter for the French national team. But the Abidjan native, who grew up in the Paris suburbs, chose to defend the colors of Côte d'Ivoire at an early age.

And so it proved! A year later, one of Europe's most sought-after players was called up to the Ivorian national team. At the age of 21, he was called up for the 2014 World Cup. Aurier was the standout performer in the Ivorian delegation at the World Cup. He scored 2 assists against Japan in their 1st match (2-1). He also made a name for himself in the second match of the tournament, despite losing to Colombia (2-1). Unfortunately, Côte d'Ivoire, who had held on to qualification until the final moments, were eliminated by Greece after a 1-0 defeat. The player's career with the national team, which had a full World Cup, was launched under good auspices for the future, despite the disappointment of elimination in the 1st round in Brazil.

Aurier, the patriot

Serge Aurier, the best left-back in the French league at the end of the 2013-2014 season, is recruited by PSG, his club of heart. Thanks to his body of work, his defensive performances, his energy, his generosity, his ruggedness and his versatility. What's more, the player is just as good as a central defender as he is as a right-back. In January of the same year, he joined Côte d'Ivoire for their first AFCON in Equatorial Guinea after Didier Drogba's retirement. He came to PSG as a substitute.Aurier's tournament was full of generosity, with many assists and goals to his name, notwithstanding a few errors. Against all expectations, Côte d'Ivoire were crowned champions. Aurier ranked in the tournament's top team. His popularity with the national team continues to grow.

Aurier then takes part in the 2017 edition of the AFCON, where Côte d'Ivoire is eliminated in the 1st round. Returning in 2019, Serge Aurier left the tournament with Côte d'Ivoire, losing to Algeria on penalties in the quarter-finals. 2 years later (2021), Côte d'Ivoire, with Aurier still present, was eliminated prematurely in the 8th round, again on penalties against Egypt. In all these tournaments, his full commitment and desire has always been constant. In his 11 years with the Ivorian national team, the player has played 85 matches and scored 4 goals.

The logical captain of the selection

He has all the qualities of a captain .He's fierce, he's vocal on the pitch, and he's extremely generous with his efforts. This excessive expenditure of energy has led to mistakes in the national team, which he has often made up for as a true warrior who never gives up. This is the story of his AFCON 2015 and even of his career.

He's always been a barker on the pitch.Ever since his early days with the national team.It's not for nothing that he was captain at an early age on certain occasions. That was the case when Wilmots took over in 2017. His calls to order to his team-mates and his commitment to his role did not please everyone at the time. "Serge Aurier has a strong temperament.On the pitch and without meaning to, he tends to get carried away more often than not. He wants to do so well that he raises his voice and even disrespects his elders. Because beyond soccer, there's respect for elders. In Africa, these are the values that count," said Ousmane Viera Diarrassouba at the time.

Given his character, his CV and his experience, it's only logical that he should captain the Elephants at the AFCON 2023. Nobody embodies the role more than he does. His commitment is beyond doubt.He will fully play his role as coach Gasset's relay.

Aurier, a fighter and an excellent footballer: guiding the pack of elephants

Aurier's career speaks for itself.Without his qualities, he wouldn't have been able to play for all the clubs he's played for. PSG, Tottenham, Villarreal... And everywhere, even if intermittently, when he's been in form, he's shown the qualities of a talented footballer. Rough in duels, powerful, ultra-good in the air, both defensively and offensively, but also with an excellent ability to cross. His two appearances in the Ligue 1 squad in (2014 and 2016) also confirm his talent."Serge Aurier is a good player who has the qualities to play up front, he's dangerous when he goes up. He played against us with Paris-SG, we were in the same group, he's a top-class right-back," Wenger said of him in 2017.

Unfortunately, the current Nottingham Forest player, of whom he was captain last season, has shown a certain irregularity in recent seasons. This is a huge waste and a lack of luck given his potential.

At 31, Serge Aurier will be attacking the Ivorian Cup of Nations with even greater commitment. He, who has never disappointed on this aspect, because once again, it's on the land of his ancestors and he will be the Captain.With the seriousness and sacrifices he has always shown, Côte d'Ivoire is fortunate to have such a dedicated Captain to show the way to the rest of the elephant pack.

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