Ivory Coast forward Salomon Kalou has compared playing at the AFCON without Didier Drogba to Barcelona playing without Lionel Messi.
The Chelsea frontman retired from international football and the Elephants are participating in their first major tournament without their star striker.
And Kalou admits the loss of the 36-year-old is likely to leave Cote d’Ivoire lacking up front as they look for their first AFCON WIN since 1992.
“It’s difficult to imagine (life after Drogba) but it’s a little like if you tried a few years ago to imagine Barça without Ronaldinho and Real without Zinedine Zidane, and yet today we have Messi and Ronaldo,” the Hertha Berlin attacker told FIFA.com.
“Both teams always have new players who come in and take over.
“Today, (Samuel) Eto’o and Drogba represent not just Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon but the success of an entire continent, and they’ve set an example for youngsters across the whole of Africa.
“And not just in football, the fact that they experienced success with their countries and also the big clubs they’ve played for has opened doors for all of us.”