Each generation intends on making a name for itself – Max Gradel
Cote d’Ivoire attacking midfielder Max Gradel has cautioned against comparing the different generations of the Elephants, saying that each generation of players is telling their unique story and that all players representing the national team are one family, CAFonline reports.
Gradel was speaking ahead of their TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 semi-final clash against DR Congo, which is set to take place on Wednesday evening in Ebimpe.
As hosts, Cote d’Ivoire is chasing their third African title after their 1992 and 2015 triumphs, where the squad has a host of star players that contributed to the team lifting the two titles.
Asked whether any similarities could be drawn from the three different generations, the midfielder, who was also part of the 2015 squad that lifted the title, said what was important is the fact that any player who dons the national team jersey does so to represents the people of Cote d’Ivoire.
“Each generation lives in their time. The golden generation of the two previous editions was special and had its own story. This generation is also special and hard-working. We are also representing our people and want to create our own story. We are the same family, and even though we are different generations, we are writing the same story and representing the people of Cote d’Ivoire”, said Gradel.
The 2015 TotalEnergies CAF AFCON winner also emphasized the difference and growth of the competition as compared to previous years, adding that this edition was exceptionally unique.
“Every AFCON is different. This one is particular. You have to admit that it is tough. We are playing at home, which makes it a very special AFCON. We have seen the motivation of people and fans, which helps us give our best. Against Senegal, we felt the support even when they were in the lead. When you see your people singing your national anthem while you are a man down, it is incredible, and that is why we have to make them proud,” he concluded.
Kick-off at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium is at 20h00.