The Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ) is delighted to announce the addition of another friendly match to its pre-EURO 2016 schedule in the form of a home fixture again Ivory Coast on Friday 20th May in the Groupama Aréna, Budapest.
Head coach Bernd Storck had indicated that a second warm-up match in addition to the away fixture versus Germany on 4th June would be useful, so, in accordance with his request, this fixture has been arranged against the 36th FIFA ranked team and current African champions. Ivory Coast were undefeated through the whole of last year’s Africa Cup of Nations, beating the likes of fellow continental giants Morocco and Cameroon along the way. That success was their first in the competition since their first tournament victory in 1992.
Last month they played two 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, defeating Sudan 1-0 at home with a goal from former Arsenal and Roma striker Gervinho and drawing 1-1 in the return leg away, results which mean the Ivorians are now in second place in their group with one win and three draws. In 2006 they participated in their first World Cup finals in Germany.
Although world star Didier Drogba has retired, the Ivory Coast squad still has some famous names including the afore-mentioned Gervinho as well as Yayo Touré (Manchester City), Kolo Touré (Liverpool), Wilfried Bony (Manchester City), Salomon Kalou (Hertha BSC) and Serge Aurier (PSG).
Bernd Storck gave us his reaction to the fixture’s confirmation:
“I am very happy that we’ll be able to take to the pitch with another strong opponent during our Euro 2016 perparation period. It doesn’t matter that we won’t play against another European team because Ivory Coast’s team is full of quick technically capable players. Morover, the game will serve our preparations well because we would like to play football at a hig tempo and play an industrious game in front of our fans”.
This will be Hungary’s first ever match against Ivory Coast.
Source: Press release – Hungarian Football Federation