The team
Since making a concerted effort to focus on youth development, ‘the land of the honest people’ has enjoyed excellent results. Les Etalons have shone in youth competitions on the continental and global stage, while their run to the final of the 2013 CAF Africa Cup of Nations and their Brazil 2014 qualifying bid confirmed their progress as a burgeoning football force. Their major asset in attack is Bertrand Traore, whose brother Alain is a leading figure in midfield alongside Jonathan Pitroipa and Charles Kabore, the trio – like defender Bakary Kone – bolstered by their experience in European football make them a force to reckon with, not forgetting the Irrepressible Aristide Bance, the charismatic Veteran Forward whose famous antics delights fans globally.Burkina Faso have plenty of talent and a desire to relive the glories of 2013, when they reached the final. But two years later, they stumbled out at the group stage.

The coach
Burkina Faso hired Portuguese coach Paulo Duarte to take charge of the national team in December 2015. Duarte, 46, was coach of the team from 2007 until 2012 before going on to coach Gabon in 2012 and 2013. He hopes to lead Les Etalons to their first ever Nations cup win. He replaced Gernot Rohr.

The stat
49 – Burkina Faso were just 90 minutes away from their World Cup dream in Blida, Algeria, on 19 November 2013. Holding a 3-2 lead after the opening leg, they needed just a draw against their hosts to book a ticket to Brazil – but Algeria captain Madjid Bougherra had other ideas, burying the only goal following a scramble on 49 minutes. This was after they had given Nigeria a few month earlier a good game in South Africa at the nations cup finals, Losing by a lone goal scored by Sunday Mba

The former stars
Alassane Ouedraogo, Seydou Traore

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