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The Rediff Special/Player of the day
Dindane signs off in style
June 22, 2006
Aruna Dindane was a little-known name at the World Cup till he scored twice in Ivory Coast's come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Serbia and Montenegro on Wednesday.
The two goals enabled the 25-year-old striker from French club Racing Lens sign off in the blaze of glory as the west Africans posted their first victory at a World Cup finals.
After the Serbians had taken a two-goal lead Dindane gave his side a flicker of hope when he placed home a twice-taken penalty in the 36th minute.
He then headed home a Kader Keita cross in the 67th minute to spark a grand recovery that led to substitute Bonaventure Kalou scoring the winner from the penalty spot.
Dindane, who won his first national cap at the age of 19, had missed out on the recent Nations Cup finals in Egypt because of the death of a daughter and a niggling calf injury. But he played a major part in Ivory Coast's qualifying campaign for the World Cup, scoring seven goals as the nation made it to the finals for the first time in their history.
He started his career with Inconditionnel D'Adjam� in 1994 and played for ASEC Mimosa Abidjan from 1995 before moving to Belgium's RSC Anderlecht in 2000 at the age of 20. There he matured as an attacking player and was instrumental in the club annexing the Belgian League the following year and again in 2004. He was also part of the Belgian Super Cup winning squad in 2000 and 2001.
For all the hard work he put in in 2003 he won rewarded with the Ebony Shoe, for being voted best player of African origin in the Belgian League, and the Golden Shoe, awarded to the best player in the Belgian League.
In 2005, he left Anderlecht and signed for Racing Club de Lens.
Ivory Coast may have failed to make it to the second round, but, without doubt, they will leave Germany with a sense of achievement. Dindane, especially, after today's superb showing has made the world sit up and notice of his rich talent.More Specials