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04 October 2023

Teenager Traore, 16, heads to Nations Cup with Burkina Faso

By Reuters

Chelsea's 16-year-old prodigy Bertrand Traore, yet to play a senior club match, was named in Burkina Faso's African Nations Cup squad on Wednesday. 

A member of the London club's academy since mid-2010, midfielder Traore won a first cap for Burkina Faso in a friendly in September. 

If he features in his country's opening game of the Nations Cup against Angola in Malabo on Jan. 22 he will become the third youngest player ever at the finals. 

The record was set at the 2000 finals by Ghana's Shiva Star Nzigou, who was 16 years, two months and 30 days old when he took to the field against South Africa in Kumasi, Ghana and scored. 

Former Inter Milan striker Mohamed Kallon was 15 when he first played in the qualifiers and aged 16 years, three months and nine days old when he came on as a substitute in Sierra Leone's first game at the 1996 finals in South Africa. 

Traore was included alongside brother Alain, who plays at AJ Auxerre in France, in the squad list released by the Burkinabe Football Federation. 

Coach Paulo Duarte added Maltese-based fullback Saidou Mady Panandetiguiri and striker Prejuce Nakoulma of Polish club Gornik Zabrze to the squad at the last moment after injuries. 

The tournament in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon gets underway on Jan. 21. 


Goalkeepers: Daouda Diakite (KV Turnhout), Moussa Germain Sanou (St Etienne), Adama Sawadogo (Missile FC) 
Defenders: Ibrahim Gnanou (Alania Vladikavkaz), Bakary Kone (Olympique Lyon), Paul Koulibaly (Charleroi), Saidou Mady Panandetiguiri (Valletta), Mamadou Tall (Persepolis) 

Midfielders: Wilfried Balima (Sheriff Tiraspol), Charles Kabore (Olympique Marseille), Mahamadou Kere (Konyaspor), Mohamed Koffi (Petrojet), Djakaridja Kone (Dynamo Bucharest), Jonathan Pitroipa (Stades Rennes), Florent Rouamba (Sheriff Tiraspol), Bertrand Traore (Chelsea) 

Forwards: Aristide Bance (Samsunspor), Moumouni Dagano (Al Khor), Prejuce Nakoulma (Gornik Zabrze), Issiaka Ouedraogo (FC Admira Wacker Modling), Abdou Razak Traore (Lechia Gdansk), Alain Traore (AJ Auxerre), Narcisse Yameogo (AD Camacha).