Factbox-Soccer-Profile of the Democratic Republic of Congo team for 2023 Africa Cup of Nations

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ABIDJAN (Reuters) – Factbox on Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers Democratic Republic of Congo.


Africa Cup of Nations record:

Previous appearances in finals: (19) 1965, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1988, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019

Best performance: Winners 1968, 1974

Drawn in Group F with Morocco, Tanzania and Zambia.

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Coach: Sebastien Desabre

The 47-year-old Frenchman has had a journeyman career around Africa, starting in 2010 with Ivorian club ASEC Abidjan and since working in Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Uganda, which was his only other post as national team coach. In Africa he has won league titles in Angola, Cameroon and Tunisia. He had no playing or coaching career at a professional level in France but like many of his compatriots has been able to find opportunities in African Football.

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Key player: Cedric Bakambu. Age: 32. Forward.

The 32-year-old is Paris-born but began his career at Sochaux, while also playing for France at uner-20 level. His career has been largely nomadic since but he left good impressions during his spells with Villarreal, Olympique de Marseille and Greek champions Olympiakos. He has been at Galatasaray since the start of the season. In 2015, he switched international allegiance to the country where his parents hailed from and has competed at both the 2017 and 2019 Cup of Nations finals with the Leopards.


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FIFA world ranking Dec 2023: 67

How they qualified: Top placed team in Group I, ahead of Mauritania, Gabon and Sudan.


Goalkeepers: Dimitri Bertaud (Montpellier), Lionel Mpasi (Rodez), Baggio Siadi (TP Mazembe)

Defenders: Dylan Batubinsika (St Etienne), Brian Bayeye (Ascoli), Rocky Bushiri (Hibernians), Henock Inonga (Simba, Tanzanie), Gedeon Kalulu (Lorient), Joris Kayembe (Racing Genk), Arthur Masuaku (Besiktas), Chancel Mbemba (Marseille)

Midfielders: Theo Bongonda (Spartak Moscow), Grady Diangana (West Bromwich Albion), Gael Kakuta (Amiens), Edo Kayembe (Watford), Samuel Moutousamy (Nantes), Charles Pickel (Cremonese), Aaron Tshibola (Al Hatta)

Forwards: Simon Banza (Sporting Braga), Cedric Bakambu (Galatasaray), Meschack Elia (Young Boys Berne), Silas Katompa (VfB Stuttgart), Fiston Mayele (Pyramids), Yoane Wissa (Brentford).

(Compiled by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Toby Davis)

– TheStar

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