Manchester City defender Kolo Toure hopes winning the African Cup of Nations would give the whole of the Ivory Coast a boost.
Toure heads to Equatorial Guinea and Gabon for the tournament with the White Elephants alongside fellow Premier League stars Cheick Tiote of Newcastle, Gervinho of Arsenal, Chelsea's Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou as well as Manchester City team-mate and brother Yaya.
And the defender hopes a successful campaign would help unite a country which verged on civil war in 2011.
In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News Radio Toure said: "It's going to be a very important tournament for our country after the hard time our country has had a few months ago.
"It's going to be a really, really tough competition, playing against some brilliant teams and we just need to do our bit and then see if we can come back with the trophy."
The Ivory Coast are favourites for the tournament, however they will need to improve on their 2010 World Cup performance when they crashed out in the group stage.
He added: "It is a difficult situation. For me Ghana is a more likely team to win.
"When you look at what they did at the last World Cup in South Africa, they were the best African team and at the minute they are the team everyone needs to be scared of.
"But the Ivory Coast have some great players and we know they can be one of the best teams in Africa.
"In 2006 we were in the final, in 2008 we went to the semi-final, but it is getting harder and harder each time.
"There are some big players in the tournament. The likes of Senegal, Morocco and Ghana but the Ivory Coast have some great players, but we are ready to commit to try to win this trophy."
Toure also singled out his international team-mate Seydou Doumbia as a potential star of the future. The 24-year-old currently plays for CSKA Moscow and has netted five times in the Champions League this season.
The Manchester City player said: "In the Ivory Coast we have Doumbia who is the best striker in Russia.
"For me he is going to be one of the players to look at.
"He's a great young player, really quick, very good in front of the goal, he's the top scorer in the Champions League and I think people need to look at him because he's a great striker.
"The tournament is a chance for more Africans to move to England. When I joined in 2002 I was one of the only ones, but now there is more.
"The Africans want to play in the best league in the world and for me the Premier League is the best league in the world."
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