Jérémie Boga, a highly anticipated dribbler in Nice and Ivory Coast

Nice's Ivorian striker, Jérémie Boga, is one of the most spectacular players in the Ligue 1 championship. But both at club and national level, much more is expected of the man who has sown high hopes through his dribbling and arabesques.

Ivorian Jérémie Boga after scoring for Nice, against Rennes. November 05, 2023. AFP - CHRISTOPHE SIMON

By: Tom Rossi Follow


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He is an Elephant who dribbles a lot, and at the Stade de la Beaujoire, this weekend of December 2-3, it was one of the Nice players to watch closely during the Nantes-Nice match (0-1): Jérémie Boga. That name has been on the mind of Nantes full-back Marcus Coco all week: "I knew what to expect, I knew that every ball he touched, I had to be careful. So I stayed focused, applied. On the other side, from the very first seconds, it was a twirling Elephant, aware of his talent, who came up against the Canaries: "My quality is in the dribble to eliminate my direct opponent. I think that's something I've worked on a lot and that's my strength. »

Jérémie Boga is one of the best dribblers in Ligue 1. His devastating hooks have caught a cold for many, but this weekend, he was well watched in Nantes. The winger, bought for €18 million from Atalanta Bergamo this summer, knows what he has to work on: "We're going to say it's more in the finishing, in the final move. I can be even better, I can be more decisive. If I can score after dribbling, it will be even better.


His tally remains stuck for the moment at two goals and one assist in 12 games. He is a reflection of Nice's attacking sector: promising with Boga, Terem Moffi and Gaëtan Laborde in particular, but not very prolific, with only 14 goals in 14 games.

"We're still a bit hungry... »


We want to give him the keys in Boga, but for the moment, he does not take them, says journalist Maxime Bacquié, who comments all OGC Nice matches for the public radio France Bleu Azur. For the time being, expectations are not necessarily raised in relation to the price of his transfer. Compared to his dribbling profile, he had to animate this left side and he too often misses his games at the moment. We're still a bit hungry for these first few games. We feel that he is capable of doing much better, but he sometimes struggles to connect with the players around him. »

But that didn't stop Jérémie Boga from starting for the eighth time in a row against Nantes. His coach, Francesco Farioli, trusts him. It must be said that the two know each other well; the Italian technician was goalkeeper coach at Sassuolo when the Ivorian winger blossomed, after several loans. Boga spent six seasons in Italy and he is happy about it.


It helped me especially in terms of maturity in my game. There, they work a lot tactically, so I think it was a good landing spot for me. When I got there, I was a bit young, let's say. I've been able to grow, I've been able to have coaches who have also helped me grow, and I think that today, it's a little bit thanks to Italy that I'm the player I am. »

A player who is very close to playing in an Africa Cup of Nations on home soil. "It's in the back of my mind," says the player who celebrated his first cap with the Elephants in June 2017 but has yet to make himself a key player for the national team. A luxury joker who played only one game at the last AFCON, Jérémie Boga scored only one goal for the national team.

Today, with Jonathan Bamba, Oumar Diakité, Max-Alain Gradel and Wilfried Zaha, it's not easy to make a place for yourself on the wings with the Elephants. "It's true that there is a lot of competition, there are a lot of good players on the wings. We're going to have to be goodfirst, at the club, and then on the spot – fight to get playing time. But hey, I think we have a very good squad and I think we can do something good," he said.

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