The departure of the talismanic figure from the international arena has coincided with a poor run of form by the Ivory Coast, who were unconvincing in the qualifiers and scrapped into the 2015 tournament.

Not even the presence of the equally charismatic Yaya Toure lifted the country's World Cup hangover as they plodded through the preliminaries and pre-tournament preparations.

They face a tricky start in the tournament against Guinea at the Nuevo Estadio de Malabo in the country's capital at the start of Group D.

The match will be followed by another post-World Cup examination, this time of Cameroon, who have had a surprise and sudden revival after a horror time in Brazil.

Just how far they have come since losing all three games in Brazil and disgracing themselves in a strike over money comes under scrutiny when they play their opening match against Mali.

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