Five Ivorians that have played in Scotland
Admittedly, when you think of Scottish football, you don’t immediately think of Ivorian talent. Nevertheless, the Scottish Premiership has seen some gems pass the tartan nation’s elite division.
League leaders Celtic recently snapped up highly rated 19-year-old Ivory Coast call-up Kouassi Eboue from Krasnodar. The holding midfield find only made his senior debut last year and claimed just 10 league appearances before his move to Celtic Park for £3m.
Despite his inexperience, many have had deja vu from another relatively unknown African touching down in Scotland – Victor Wanyama of Kenya.
So, in light this, FootyOn have compiled a list of five Ivorians that have played in Scotland after Celtic sign Eboue…
Kolo Toure (Celtic)
Sure to make Eboue’s transition to Scotland smoother is fellow Ivorian Toure. The ex Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool man won Premier League titles in England and was brought to Scotland by Brendan Rodgers in the summer.
Having settled in reasonably well, he is an important player for the Hoops. And, he is far from what many feared he would be – a calamity.
Recent reports suggest that Toure has taken to life in Scotland so well that Celtic are set to offer him a player-coach position.
Guy Demel (Dundee United)
Racking up 35 caps for his nation, the two-time World Cup squad making right back came to Tannadice from West Ham United after being released.
The Africa Cup of Nations runner-up in 2006 with Ivory Coast and Bundesliga winner in 2002 with Borussia Dortmund had a tough time in Scotland.
Yet, Tangerines fans took the big man to their heart, despite the side meeting the drop in his one and only season.
Demel was allowed to leave for the nation of his birth, France, after relegation was confirmed.
Now in the Scottish Championship, United are 15/8 with Betway and other bookmakers to claim the title.
Sol Bamba (Dunfermline Athletic and Hibernian)
A dispute with the PSG manager, Vahid Halilhodzic, caused Bamba to leave the club in 2006 and journey to Scotland.
Initially signed as a trialist, he was snapped up by then top division side Dunfermline after impressive performances. Bamba was part of the squad that reached the 2007 Scottish Cup Final and played in the final.
The centre half’s performances, however, declined when the side were relegated. After two years at the club, the 44 cap man decided to move to Hibs and back into the Premiership in 2008.
Despite being red carded during his debut, Bamba soon became crucial. Manager Mixu Paatelainen frequently deployed the tough tackling France-born Ivorian as a defensive midfielder and won the hearts of the Easter Road faithful.
Olivier Tebily (Celtic)
If you’re nicknamed ‘Bombscare’ by your own fans, you know something is wrong with your game.
Tebily came from Sheffield United in 1999 to become Celtic manager John Barnes’ third signing. The Ivorian made an instant impact, scoring an own goal on his debut in a pre-season game against Leeds United.
After a disappointing 2006 AFCON in which players had to be escorted out the country due to fears for their safety, Tebily returned to Glasgow.
His next appearance for Celtic was in the shock Scottish Cup defeat at home to Inverness Caledonian Thistle which provoked the “Super Caley go ballistic, Celtic are atrocious” headline.
Managerial changes then meant he soon got little more than a glimpse of playing time. He was then shipped off to Birmingham City.
Souleymane Coulibaly (Kilmarnock)
Joining Toure and Eboue as Ivorians currently playing in Scotland is Killie’s promising Coulibaly.
Ask any Kilmarnock fan and they’ll rave about the 22-year-old. The centre forward has hit the ground running at Rugby Park.
With 11 goals from 25 games in all competitions, Coulibaly is making waves in Ayrshire.
Coulibaly is now eyeing a senior cap for either Ivory Coast or Italy. He’s now developed into one of the Premiership’s leading lights and can’t be far off.
However, despite his best efforts, Kilmarnock face a relegation battle and are 11/4 with Betway to finish bottom.
More from FootyOn
Like this feature? Check out our archive here.