Emerse Fae, the 40-year-old former international player, has been acclaimed as the Best Coach of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations for his pivotal role in orchestrating Côte d’Ivoire’s remarkable resurgence throughout the tournament.
Taking the helm as caretaker coach when the host nation faced the brink of elimination, suffering a disheartening 1-0 loss to Nigeria and a humiliating 4-0 defeat against Equatorial Guinea, Fae orchestrated a stunning turnaround.
Under Fae's astute guidance, Côte d’Ivoire embarked on an extraordinary journey, ousting defending champions Senegal in the round of 16, orchestrating a sensational comeback against Mali in the quarterfinals, and securing a convincing victory over DR Congo in the semifinals.
In the climactic final clash at the Alhassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan, the Elephants staged a dramatic comeback to clinch a 2-1 triumph over favored Nigeria.
Despite William Troost-Ekong's late first-half header putting Nigeria in the lead, Franck Kessie equalized in the 62nd minute before Sebastian Haller sealed the win with a decisive goal from Adingra's cross.
This crowning achievement caps off an extraordinary journey for Côte d’Ivoire, characterized by the departure of coach Jean-Louis Gasset following two group stage defeats.
The Ivorians not only secured their third continental title, adding to their triumphs in 1992 and 2015, but also etched their names in history as the first tournament hosts to lift the trophy since Egypt in 2006.