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Liverpool defender Kolo Toure has confidence that Ivory Coast can learn from their past two experiences at the World Cup to spring a surprise at the tournament in Brazil this month.
The African giants qualified for both the 2006 and 2010 editions of the competition but were immediately hamstrung in their ambitions by daunting group stage draws.
Toure was present on both occasions, providing a composed and authoritative head in defence and building towards the remarkable achievement of clocking up a century of caps.
As the Ivorians prepare for their Group C opener against Japan this weekend, however, the 33-year-old is targeting more than just mere participation in the football festival.
"Just going further than we've ever done before will be a triumph in itself," Toure, who joined the Reds last summer, explained to FIFA.com.
"I'm not setting any limits on what we can achieve. Why can't we spring a surprise and make it to the final? We've got the ability to do just that."
The versatile defender continued: "This is our last chance to shine at this level. I'm 33 and we're closer to the end of our careers than the start.
"We're going to enjoy this World Cup and show a different side to ourselves than we did the last two times, when we didn't really perform that well. We'll be doing what we can to be better."
Eight years ago, Ivory Coast found themselves in the same section as regular contenders Argentina and the Netherlands; last time, it was the equally difficult task of facing Brazil and Portugal.
"In 2006 we were in dreamland," said Toure. "It was the first time our country had ever qualified for such a big competition. We were naive and we didn't focus enough on the job in hand.
"In 2010 I felt we were a little bit stronger, thanks to the experience we'd had four years earlier. We were more determined when we went to South Africa but it was not enough.
"We have made some progress, though, and it's good for us to have survivors from the last two World Cups in the team today.
"We've learned the lessons of the past and we're making sure we pass on our knowledge to the younger players."
Author: @shawct Tagged:
, ivory coast
, kolo toure
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