Wigan Athletic chief's pride in African effort at World Cup

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Wigan Athletic boss Kolo Toure has spoken off his immense pride at how well the African nations have punched above their weight at the World Cup.

Morocco became the first country from Africa to reach the last four at FIFA's showpiece event.

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They were beaten 2-0 by France on Wednesday night, and will face Croatia in the third/fourth-placed play-off on Saturday.

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Kolo Toure has watched the World Cup with immense prideKolo Toure has watched the World Cup with immense pride
Kolo Toure has watched the World Cup with immense pride

African champions Senegal also qualified for the knockout stages, before going down 3-0 to England in the round of 16.

Elsewhere, Tunisia managed to beat France in the group stage, while Cameroon shocked Brazil and Ghana overcame South Korea.

All of which means the tournament has to go down as a massive shock, in the eyes of the Latics chief.

"I'm so proud, so proud of what the African nations have done," said Toure, who won 120 caps for the Ivory Coast, where he is regarded as a national hero.

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"For me, Morocco was unbelievable, Senegal was good, but unfortunately they lost (Sadio) Mane.

"If Mane had been there, he would have made a big difference in my opinion.

"Cameroon did very well, beating Brazil, which is obviously a big, big result.

"I was expecting more from Ghana, because they have a good group, unfortunately they lost out in the end.

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"But I think they all did their best, and they all did very well in my opinion.

"We are all really proud as Africans, definitely."

Ture is predicting a tight final between France and Argentina on Sunday night.

It's being billed as a straight shoot-out between Paris St Germain team-mates Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe.

And Toure feels the Argentinian legend will have the edge over his dynamic colleague.

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"It's going to be Paris against Paris, let's see who's going to win," he told BBC Radio Manchester. "Messi is a great player, he's a leader, technically he's fantastic, very intelligent, he's

got everything.

"He's one of the greatest players in the world, across all the generations.

"For me, it will be Argentina."

Sunday’s big game kicks-off at 3pm and will be televised live on the BBC and ITV.

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