African Cup of Nations - Factbox: Ethiopia

Factbox on African Cup of Nations finalists Ethiopia ahead of this year's tournament in South Africa from January 19 to February 10.

African Cup of Nations - Factbox: Ethiopia

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Ethiopia fans (AFP)

Previous appearances in African Cup of Nations finals: 9

Best performances: Winners in 1962; Runners-up in 1957

FIFA world ranking December 2012: 110

Coach: Sewnet Bishaw will be among seven local coaches in charge of their national teams at the 2013 finals. The 60-year-old worked briefly as a club coach at Al Ahli Sanaa in Yemen but has spent most of his coaching career at a variety of Ethiopia's top clubs and has had two separate spells in charge of the national team.


Goalkeepers: 1-Sisay Bancha (Dedebit), 23-Zerihun Tadelle (St George), 22-Jemal Tassew (Coffee FC)

Defenders: 10-Birhanu Bogale (Dedebit), 4-Abebaw Butako, 2-Degu Debebe, 12-Biyadiglign Eliase, 6-Alula Girma (all St George), 5-Aynalem Hailu, 17-Seyum Tesfaye (both Dedebit)

Midfielders: 20-Behailu Asefa (Dedebit), 18-Shimelese Bekele (St George), 15-Dawit Estifanos (Coffee FC), 21-Addis Hintsa (Dedebit), 8-Asrat Megersa (EEPCO), 16-Yussuf Saleh (Syrianska), 14-Minyahile Teshome (Dedebit), 3-Yared Zinabu (St George)

Forwards: 13-Fuad Ibrahim (Minnesota Stars), 19-Adane Girma (St George), 9-Getaneh Kebede (Dedebit), 11-Omed Okwuri (St George), 7-Saladin Seid (Wadi Degla).

Key players:

Saladin Seid (Wadi Degla). Age: 24. Position: Forward. Author of vital goals for Ethiopia over the last year in both African Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifying. He was top scorer in the Ethiopia league in 2008 and 2009 and moved for a country record transfer fee of 240,000 dollars to Egypt in 2011 after failing in trials at Serbian club Partizan Belgrade.

Adane Girma (St George). Age: 27 Position: Midfielder. Player who is the pulse of the side, running the game from midfield but frequently pushing forward to get himself into good attacking positions. In 2011 he was top scorer in the Ethiopian league and was named the best player. He has won four league titles with St George over the last six years.

Yussuf Saleh (Syrianska). Age: 28 Position: Winger. Swedish-born winger recently plucked from the diaspora as Ethiopia went in search of players with links to their country to strengthen their side. Played previously at AIK Solna and had a brief spell in the Spanish second division.

Prospects: Ethiopia are in the finals for the first time in more than 30 years and will be a unknown quantity. Dominated by home-based players and lacking experience at this level of competition, they are expected to struggle, even if they have managed a major improvement in form. They will draw heart from the fact that their last game in South Africa in June was a 1-1 draw with their hosts in World Cup qualifying.

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