From sand to grass: Lazare Amani reveals bizarre Cote d’Ivoire call up story

Speaking in HLN, Union St Gilloise midfielder Lazare Amani has revealed how he was called up to the Ivory Coast national team in bizarre fashion. The midfielder was on his way to the country for a holiday, but after checking his bags in at the airport he received a call from Aruna Dindane telling him he had been called up to the national team. Former Les Elephants international Dindane had also played in Belgium with Anderlecht during his career.

Lazare said he quickly called his wife to give her the good news, before having to also change his flights destination to Morocco instead of Abidjan. The in form midfielder played 30 minutes in a 4-0 friendly win over Burundi. Lazare said “I now hope to play the Africa Cup with Cote d’Ivoire. That’s the goal, but there are a lot of good players in my position”.

The 24 year-old said his call up caused a lot of excitement in his home town of Oumé, where people had seen him playing football in the sand as a youngster. Now they were cheering him on while he played on the grass pitch in Morocco.

The former Charleroi midfielder has been a key player for Union this season alongside Teddy Teume and Senne Lynen in central midfield. He has scored one goal and provided two assists in 16 league appearances this season, while in Europe he has one goal and one assist in five Europa League matches.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

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