Carefree, innovative, and ambitious, Simon Adingra and Ouma Diakité are the next generation of Ivorian football
Emerse Fae, Elephants coach Photo Credit: CAFONLINE
Carefree, innovative, ambitious, and above all, all full of talent. Simon Adingra and Ouma Diakité represent the next generation of Ivorian football, CAFONLINE reports.
Aged 22 and 20, respectively, the two young men experienced winding paths before being the protagonists of the Elephants’ qualification for the semi-final of the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d’Ivoire 2023.
Standing 1.75 meters tall, Simon Adingra had a difficult journey before becoming a footballer.
“I’ve had some difficult times, and that has shaped my character. I remember the day an “agent” came to my house because he wanted to recruit me to go to an academy in Benin. We went to this country with nine other boys, except that the academy in question did not exist. The crook left with our money, and we found ourselves on the street. I had to take on odd jobs to meet my needs,” he says.
“When I think of everything I have experienced, I must give the best of myself for my country, my family, especially to honor my father, who is no longer with us and has always encouraged us to go this direction,” he explains.
Entering the game in the 86th minute against Mali, the right winger conditioned himself to be decisive and alert.
“I told myself that I would have an opportunity and that it was up to me to seize it. And yes, I am lucky. I can tell you that it was, as an individual, one of my biggest emotions as a footballer. My heart was beating a thousand miles an hour,” admitted Adingra.
Another rising star is, of course, Oumar Diakité. Like Adingra, number 14 of the Elephants came into play during the second period of the match against the Eagles.
Active on the left flank, the native of Bingerville wasted no time getting noticed. First, by receiving a yellow card, then by scoring the winning goal on a play initiated by Simon Adingra before being unfortunately sent off.
“My joy was so great that I forgot I had a yellow card. My mistake. I couldn’t play the half, but I don’t think it will hurt my team because we have the depth, and even if I’m not there, we’ll be able to do the job,” said Diakité.
Diakité imagined for a long time to be the Cote d’Ivoire hero and even dreamt of it.
“It’s an inexplicable feeling. During my training at ASEC, I began training as an engineer. Even though I was thriving in football, I needed to secure my life in a certain way. Because everything moves very quickly in this world.”
On Wednesday, 07 February, the Elephants return to the majestic Alassane Ouattara Olympic stadium in Ebimpé, where their African dream was dented by a 4-0 thrashing handed by Equatorial Guinea 4-0.
They hope to erase that memory when facing DR Congo in a 20h00 GMT kick-off.