2010 FIFA World Cup: With Drogba out, Brazil and Portugal Get a Free Pass

Gil BragaContributor IIJune 4, 2010

SION, SWITZERLAND - JUNE 04:  Didier Drogba of the Ivory Coast leaves the field after injuring his arm during the Japan v Ivory Coast International Friendly match at Stade de Toubillon on June 4, 2010 in Sion, Switzerland.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

One of the most lethal strikers in the world today might become the greatest absence of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Chelsea top scorer of the season and Ivory Coast's main hope of advancing in the tournament, Didier Drogba, fractured his forearm this Friday during Ivory Coast's friendly against Japan. 

Drogba's injury happened at the 15th minute when Japan's defender Tanaka tried to reach a bouncing ball sent to Drogba in midfield and ended up hitting his knee on Drogba's arm.

The incident was actually an accident. There was no intention to hurt.


Didier Drogba was rushed to the hospital where the fracture was detected.

The Ivorian Football Federation denied that Drogba is completely ruled out of the World Cup as French newspaper L'Equipe stated on its website right after the confirmation of the broken arm was announced. 

At this point I'd say he's out.

We've seen footballers play the game with broken arms before—Beckenbauer (in 1970 vs. Italy) being the first one that comes to my mind—but times have changed.

Unless it's a minor fracture and FIFA is OK with Drogba playing with a soft cast, I think he's out. 

Brazil and Portugal were already my favorites to lead group play; and with Drogba out of the World Cup, I believe things will get much easier now for the two powerhouses. 

It's true that even without the 32-year-old Chelsea striker, The Elephants are still a respectable team.

They have Yaya Touré, Eboué, Romaric and Kalou. However, we all know that Drogba is not only the team's main goal scorer and captain but he is (or was) also the main factor in Ivory Coast's hopes of surprising Portugal or Brazil (mainly Portugal I'd say).

Portugal's defense can't be trusted and that's what The Elephants were counting on by having Kalou and Drogba terrorize them in their opening match on June 15th at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. 

I'm sure Brazil is also aware of the threat the Ivorians could pose in case they lose to Portugal, and not having Drogba on the pitch will certainly make Brazilian defenders' job much easier… I mean, less hard.

That's all for now...