Could an Drogba, Eto'o or Essien finally win the World Cup this summer?

Didier Drogba Ivory Coast

An African team has never managed to win the World Cup - but in Brazil this summer, which African nation is best placed to win it all?

Brazilian legend Pele famously proclaimed that "An African nation will win the World Cup before the year 2000". We're now in 2014 and an African nation has still yet to make it past the quarter finals of the World Cup, never mind go on to win in the final on the world's biggest stage.

Even when analysing the betting markets for this summer's tournament, the shortest price on an African country winning the World Cup is 125/1 for Ivory Coast, making them 15th favourites out of 32 teams. With that in mind, are any of them well placed to make an impact this summer?

Starting with the Elephants, Ivory Coast have been many people's tip to impress at the World Cup but they've yet to show it. In 2006 they were matched up in a tough group alongside Argentina, Holland and Serbia and Montenegro, whilst four years later it was Brazil, Portugal and North Korea standing in their way. This time, they are handed a more manageable group with Colombia, Greece and Japan, but for the likes of Kolo Toure, Yaya Toure and Dider Drogba, it may be their last chance to impress at the World Cup.

With many doubting the ageing Ivorians, Ghana have a number of stars who can take them deep into the competition. Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari, Andre Ayew, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Asamoah Gyan still feature for Ghana, but in a tough group with Germany, Portugal and the United States, their path out of the group look incredibly bumpy.

The African team with the most favourable group appears to be Nigeria. Whilst Argentina should cruise through Group F, Iran and Bosnia are manageable teams and with Vincent Enyeama, John Obi Mikel, Ahmed Musa and Emmanuel Emenike, they have some unheralded stars who make the Super Eagles a potentially dangerous team - but unlikely to be one that go on to win the competition.

Meanwhile, Cameroon being matched up with Brazil, Croatia and Mexico could be difficult to move past, and Algeria - whilst they have some promising young players like Faouzi Ghoulam, Saphir Taider and Tottenham's Nabil Bentaleb - will also struggle to get through the group stage.

The African teams could certainly impress this summer but once again, it looks unlikely that any of them will get into the last four or beyond - which begs the question; when exactly will Pele's prediction of an African team lifting the World Cup trophy come to fruition?

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