WHEN Didier Drogba made his debut for Ivory Coast in Polokwane in 2003, many people had no idea that one day he would become a world soccer superstar.
This was back in 2004 during the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium. Bafana Bafana won that match 2-1.
The down-to-earth Drogba is one of the big names who will be on display in the upcoming 2010 Fifa World Cup in Mzansi from June 11 to July 11.
Four years ago in Germany, Ivory Coast failed to progress beyond the group stage in their first appearance in the World Cup.
They were defeated 2-1 by Argentina and Netherlands but went on beat Serbia and Montenegro 3-2, their only victory at the World Cup finals.
"Our performance in Germany was not up to what we set out to achieve," he said. "We have to improve and play much better if we want the other teams to take us seriously. This is not a tournament you can go and play just anyhow."
Drogba has repeatedly commended South Africa on its preparations for the tournament, saying it will be an incredible tournament.
He is also confident that one of the African teams has a good chance of reaching the finals.