Sven-Goran Eriksson’s predecessor Vahid Halilhodzic kept faith with the Stuttgart left-back as a starter and, along with Kolo Toure, he was a leader at the back for the Elephants during qualifying. Already a key figure for the side at the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, the diminutive defender will again be at the heart of the action in South Africa.
Taught the essentials at his hometown club ASEC Abidjan, he was only 16 when he left for Stade Tunisien, whom he represented for three years before joining up with the coterie of Ivorian talent at Beveren. Boka spent two years with the Belgian outfit – the first port of call in Europe for graduates of the Jean-Marc Guillou academy – and reached the Belgian Cup final in 2004, after which he signed for French side Strasbourg, winning the French League Cup in his first season.
Stuttgart stepped in for his services in the summer of 2006 and a year later Boka was celebrating again, having helped the club clinch the Bundesliga title. He made 55 championship appearances in his first three campaigns in Germany and kept up that ratio this term. Seemingly never injured and a low-key presence away from the pitch, his pace and hard tackling make Boka an asset for any coach.