In October 2018, Madagascar inked their names in the history books of African football as they made it into their first ever Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after finishing second in pool A of the qualification with 10 points ahead of Equatorial Guinea and Sudan.
The Islanders, ranked 108th in the world, may not be highly fancied in Group B on paper, but have vowed to make the best impression.
They start their campaign today against Guinea at the Alexandria Stadium before taking on fellow debutants Burundi and finishing off their group stage action with a duel against Nigeria on June 30.
“It will be tough definitely but we are here to play and show what our football is about. We will try to give the best and learn from every experience,” said Madagascar coach Nicolas Dupuis.
Madagascar played a friendly match against Kenya in France, losing 1-0 but the coach said they picked a lot of positives to help them get ready for the tough task ahead of them.
Some of the players to be watched from this team are Charles Andriamatsinoro and Faneva Imà Andriatsima who played a crucial role in their qualification. They contributed to five goals in Madagascar’s qualification.
Goalkeepers: Melvin Andrien (Martigues), Ibrahima Dabo (Gobelins), Jean Randrianasolo (CNaPS Sport).
Defenders: Mamy Randrianarisoa, Pascal Razakanantenaina (St Pierroise), Dimitry Caloin (Les Herbiers), Thomas Fontaine (Reims), Romain Metanire (Minnesota Utd),Jerome Mombris (Grenoble), Jeremy Morel (Lyon), Toaviina Rambeloson (Arras).
Midfielders: Ibrahim Amada (Mouloudia Alger), Anicet Andrianantenaina (Ludogorets), Andriamiraldo Andrianarimanana (Kaizer Chiefs), Marco Ilaimaharitra (Charleroi), Lalaina Nomenjanahary (Paris FC), Jean Rakotoarisoa (Fosa Juniors), Rayan Raveloson (Troyes).
Forwards: Charles Andriamahitsinoro (Al Aldalh), Faneva Andriatsima (Clermont), William Gros (Vitre), Tsilavina Njiva (Samut Sakhon), Paulin Voavy (Misr El-Makkasa).