Until 2006, the Ivory Coast football shirt had never made an appearance at a FIFA World Cup event. This year, however, the Ivory Coast national football team will enjoy its third consecutive World Cup qualification a fact that has marked this small African country as a team to watch.

Ivory Coast 2014 World Cup Away Shirt

In celebration of the World Cup qualification, Puma has unveiled the Ivory Coast 2014 FIFA World Cup away jersey, a green shirt boasting the Puma logo on one breast and the team's distinctive elephant crest on the other. The Ivory Coast team is nicknamed "the Elephants," and that fact is reflected on the team's uniforms, all of which you can purchase from Soccer Box in time for the World Cup event.

A Brief World Cup History

Prior to the 2006World Cup tournament, the Ivory Coast was regarded as, at best, a minor force in the game of soccer. The team has done well enough for itself on the continental stage, winning the African Cup of Nations in 1992 and beating Ghana in a penalty shot tiebreaker.

In 2006 and 2012, the Ivory Coast football shirt was catching eyes in the African Cup once more, with both tournaments ending in runner-up results. A host of third place finishes in the same event has repeatedly marked the Ivory Coast national soccer team as one of the best soccer outfits in all of Africa.

Despite this continental success, the Ivory Coast's attempts to qualify for the FIFA World Cup were repeatedly foiled between 1974 and 2002. In 2006, that all finally changed, with the Ivory Coast team doing well enough in the qualification stages to earn itself a slot in the tournament held in Germany.

Unfortunately, the Ivory Coast football shirt didn't make much of an impression in its first World Cup appearance. The Elephants were drawn into Group C with Argentina, The Netherlands, and Serbia and Montenegro. The Ivory Coast netted its first-ever World Cup win against Serbia and Montenegro, but Argentina and The Netherlands were simply too strong, and the Elephants were eliminated.

A similar fate befell the Ivory Coast team in 2010, when it was drawn into Group G against heavyweights like Brazil and Portugal. The Elephants got their second World Cup victory off the fourth member of the group, North Korea, and even managed to hold Portugal to a 0-0 draw. Again, though, the top teams were too strong, and Ivory Coast was again sent home without getting past the group stage.

2014 Chances

This year, fans are merely hoping to see the Ivory Coast 2014 FIFA World Cup away jersey in action in the knockout stage. The Ivory Coast team has been drawn into Group C, which again includes two highly ranked teams (Colombia and Greece) and one that most expect to see an eliminated early (Japan).

However, the Elephants have certainly grown in soccer notoriety since their early exits from the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. Currently, FIFA has the Ivory Coast ranked at number 21 of all the national teams making the pilgrimage to Brazil this summer. However, earlier this year, the team was slotted as high as number 12, meaning that any result is possible for the group stage.

In order to advance, the Ivory Coast national football team will have to upset either Colombia (currently ranked at number 4 by FIFA, only behind Spain, Germany, and Portugal) or Greece (ranked at 10). With how much improvement the Elephants have shown lately, either is possible. However, since the Ivory Coast will play its group stage matches against both teams in the away position, fans will want to have their Ivory Coast 2014 FIFA World Cup away jersey ready to cheer their team toward victory.

Do you think that the Ivory Coast can make good on its promise as the most highly ranked African team in the world? Do you think the team will attain World Cup glory by escaping the group stage for the first time? If so, direct your browser to the Soccer Box web store right now, and pick up an Ivory Coast football shirt for this summer's festivities!