Football - Christopher Operi: The left-back who could do Côte d'Ivoire a world of good

Christopher Operi
Football - Christopher Operi: The left-back who could do Côte d'Ivoire a world of good

Christopher Operi, 26, is one of the sensations at the start of the Ligue 1 season. The left-back is a constant presence on the left flank with Le Havre, promoted this season. He would be a good choice for Côte d'Ivoire, where the coach has only included one left-back on his September list.

Christopher Operi is enjoying the early part of the season. A Ligue 1 debutant with Le Havre, the Ivorian left-back leads the league in assists. The left-handed player has already handed out 2 passes in 3 matchdays. Given that he only played on Matchdays 2 and 3, he was absent from Matchday 1. Incisive and hard-hitting on his flank, he helped his team come back from 2-0 down against Rennes. His cross found the head of Alioui. The result was a 2-2 draw.

With two assists, Christopher Operi has already equalled his season's best total. Last season, he handed out two assists in Ligue 2, as well as in the 2020-2021 season with Châteauroux.

Several clubs before blossoming

At 1.83 m tall, Christopher Operi's speed and explosiveness are very useful for a full-back.What's more, he possesses a technique that enables him to combine with his team-mates. An irremovable fixture since his arrival at Le Havre a year ago (35 starts in 35 Ligue 2 games for 2 goals and 2 assists), the 26-year-old Ivorian has already played for several clubs. Having made his professional debut at the age of 19 with Caen, Christopher Operi had to leave to sharpen his skills. The flanker first played four seasons at Châteauroux between 2017 and 2021. Then, the Abidjan native spent a season in Belgium, at La Gantoise, in 2021-2022. But he was hardly used (14 games, 10 of them as a starter), so he decided to return to France, with success. He won the French Ligue 2 title in 2023.

Snubbed by Côte d'Ivoire

Now that he's found a club where he can express his talent as a regular starter, Christopher Operi is waiting to make his dream come true: to pull on the jersey of Côte d'Ivoire. At 26, that's all he wants."The national team is obviously in the back of my mind. To say otherwise would be a lie, especially when you know it will be on home soil.Every Ivorian player dreams of taking part in this kind of competition. It's to live these moments that we play soccer".

And as for the competition in his position (Ghislain Konan in particular), Christopher Operi isn't concerned. He simply wants to have his chance."Of course there's competition, but that's fine - you need competition to get the best out of everyone. As far as selection is concerned, I have no doubt that I'm up to the task. It's up to me to perform well with my club. That's all the bad news we wish him. He's no doubt dreaming of competing at the next AFCON in Côte d'Ivoire.

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