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Kossounou’s title announcement: “We have to win something”

Odilon Kossounou has something ahead of his Leverkusen colleagues: a title in 2024. But after winning the Africa Cup, the Ivorian is calling for further triumphs: “We have to seize this opportunity!”

He has already achieved one major goal with his national team in his home country. Odilon Kossounou won the Africa Cup with Côte d’Ivoire at the beginning of February. Since last week and various celebrations such as the reception with the Ivorian President, 23-year-old Odilon Kossounou now wants to make the current season a very special one in Leverkusen.

“The way we’re doing in the Bundesliga and also in the cup, not forgetting the Europa League, I believe that I and all the players in Leverkusen can have a great year,” predicts the defender and demands: “If we have this chance, we have to make the most of it. The way we play, the way we focus, we have to win something in the end.”

The central defender believes that Bayer 04 not only has a good chance of doing so in the DFB Cup, where they will face second-division side Fortuna Düsseldorf in the semi-finals, but also in the league. No wonder, with a lead of eight points over FC Bayern Munich

Kossounou and the Ivory Coast as role models

“The chances are good. We’re ahead,” said Kossounou, before adding coach Xabi Alonso’s slogan: “But we’re taking it game by game. We’re not looking at the eight points and thinking: ‘It’s almost done’. It’s not easy against a team like Bayern Munich. They can come back. “

Until now, everything has gone smoothly for Bayer 04 in the league. Quite unlike for the Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup, where the coach was initially sacked in the middle of the tournament. “We experienced everything. We lost, we came back, we won the title. That means a lot to me and my mentality. I can also bring that to the team,” says Kossounou. His club colleagues have already demonstrated this resilience in games such as Leipzig and in the cup against Stuttgart (3:2 after 0:1 and 1:2 respectively).

But in the event of serious setbacks, Kossonou and the Ivory Coast can serve as a role model. “The belief we showed in the Africa Cup is something we also need in the Bundesliga, the cup and the Europa League,” said the Ivorian, who cited tactics and skill as an important component of Bayer’s success.

“When I play, I will give everything “

This is how Kossounou describes the team spirit in the Leverkusen squad based on his personal situation. The right-footer, who has developed into an absolute top performer this season, does not know whether he will be back in Leverkusen’s starting eleven for the first time after his return a week ago on Friday against Mainz.

“If I play, I’ll give it my all. If not, I’ll stand behind the team and support them,” he says, describing the team’s inner commitment. “Because at the end of the day, we all want to achieve something. And with this mentality, we will be very strong. “

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