As Ivory Coast anticipates hosting the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) for the first time since 1984, former Ivorian international striker Arouna Koné provides valuable insights, emphasizing the need for a unified approach against all opponents.

Koné, a key figure in past successes, acknowledges a historical flaw in the team's mindset – an inconsistency that has persisted across generations. He urges the Elephants to address this issue, noting that underestimating so-called weaker teams has been a stumbling block.

“The flaws are not new,” he said.

“From our time until today, Elephants have always had two faces. We play according to the opponent.

However, this is what plays a bad trick on us at a given moment in a competition. We too often tend to minimize so-called weak teams.

When we meet them, we fall asleep a little. And often we are surprised. It’s especially this side that we need to work on.

“We must attack all our opponents in the same way and with the same seriousness. When we come across an opponent who is not at our level, we must respect him.

When we take the field, we must do everything we can to neutralize this team as quickly as possible. You should never show an opponent that you are superior before the confrontation. You have to be humble. The truth is on the ground and not off it. We have sometimes been victims of this.

“We are often surprised and by the time we wake up, the match is already over. We must take all opponents seriously.

The seven matches will have to be played like finals. And a final is won. If our younger brothers have this mentality, there is no reason why we should not pick up this 3rd star,” he ended.

To succeed in the evolved football landscape, Koné stresses the importance of attacking all opponents with the same seriousness, avoiding complacency even against perceived weaker teams.

The veteran emphasizes the need for humility, respect, and a consistent mentality throughout the tournament.

As Ivory Coast aims for a third AFCON title, Koné believes that adopting a focused and respectful approach to every match, treating each game as a final, will pave the way for success.

He encourages the younger players to embrace this mentality, ensuring the team's competitiveness and determination in the quest for the coveted third star.