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Know the Ivorian coach Emerse Fae

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In the shadow of Jean-Louis Gasset, whom he served as an assistant coach for the Ivorian national team, Emerse Faé has managed to turn around the fortunes of the Elephants after a dismal start in the Africa Cup of Nations.

The former Cote d’Ivoire international – Emerse Faé’s name is now on everyone’s lips. The former Nantes player has successfully revitalized the Elephants after the dismissal of French coach Jean-Louis Gasset due to disastrous results in the group stage.

With Faé at the helm, the Elephants, qualified as the best third-placed team, underwent a spectacular transformation during the knockout stages.

Despite being considered the overwhelming favorite, Senegal was the first victim of this revival in the round of 16. Mali was also eliminated in the quarter-finals, followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo in the semi-finals.

Contrary to all initial predictions, Kessié and his teammates will compete in the final on Sunday against Nigeria.

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The Ivorians have a golden opportunity to avenge their defeat against the Super Eagles, who handed them their first loss in the competition (1-0) during the second group stage match.

At just 40 years old, Emerse Faé is 90 minutes away from making history with his country.

He did not have the chance to be part of the Ivorian squad during the final loss in 2012 or when the team won the title in 2015. But a fabulous destiny awaited the man who is now being hailed by the entire Ivorian people.

As a professional player, Emerse Faé’s career was cut short by repeated injuries. Trained at French club Nantes, he spent the majority of his career there (2003-2007).

From 2007 to 2009, he played for Reading FC before finishing his career at OGC Nice, where he stayed between 2009 and 2012. The midfielder was forced to retire on February 1, 2012, at just 28 years old, due to recurring blood clots.

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Holder of a Football Coaching Certificate, Faé began his coaching career with the U19 team at French club Nice in 2012. He remained there until 2021 before taking charge of the reserve team at Clermont Foot 63.

In 2022, he was appointed as Jean-Louis Gasset’s assistant for the Ivorian Elephants. He replaced the French coach by circumstance during the home AFCON tournament.

-CAF

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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