Olympics 2020: ‘Cote d’Ivoire have a team with quality’ – Torino’s Singo talks up Elephants’ chances

Although the West Africans have been handed tough opponents, the 20-year-old stated that the Elephants boast the quality to shine in Tokyo

Wilfried Singo stated that Cote d’Ivoire possess the quality to impress when the men’s football event of the Tokyo Olympics gets underway on Thursday.

The Elephants are making their second appearance at the global sporting showpiece and they would be hoping to surpass their quarter-final feat at Beijing 2008.

After finishing as runners-up in Group A that boasts Argentina, Australia and Serbia, the West Africans bowed 2-0 to Nigeria in the quarter-final with Obinna Nsofor and Peter Odemwingie settling the encounter in Qinhuangdao.

To stand a chance of competing for the gold medal in Japan, the African star must negotiate their way past Saudi Arabia, Germany and defending champions Brazil in Group D.

Even at the hard-hitting zone, the Torino star disclosed that Soualiho Haidara’s men are keen on surpassing fans’ hopes.

“It’s all about giving a positive image of our country,” the 20-year-old told BBC Sport Africa.

“It’s a privilege to represent the Ivory Coast at the Olympic Games – now it’s up to us to live up to our fans’ expectations.

“I spoke to my club and coach (Ivan) Juric was very understanding about such a positive opportunity for me. I’m sure I will come back stronger from such a top-level tournament.

“We know we have been drawn in a difficult group, but we are determined to go through.

“We have a team with quality, and we want to show that – it won’t be easy but it’s not impossible.”

Singo is not shy about the fact that his performances in Tokyo will determine if who would make Cote d’Ivoire’s squad for the 2020 Africa Cup of Nations billed for Cameroon.

“It will be with determination, concentration, hard work and humility, as well as having a good season with Torino,” he continued.

“Only these values can allow me to improve. To be recalled to the squad for the big competitions like the Nations Cup and the World Cup, you have to put in good club performances.

“We are going to Cameroon with a lot of determination and desire. We’ll do all we can to go as far as possible and I hope all will go well – why shouldn’t we return home with a third star on our shirts?”

Cote d’Ivoire commence their campaign on Thursday against Saudi Arabia at the International Stadium Yokohama.

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