Africa Cup of Nations hero Boubacar Barry said his heroics to help Ivory Coast win the title on Sunday saw him defy his critics.
Ivory Coast goalkeeper Boubacar Barry said he defied his shortcomings, to help deliver a second Africa Cup of Nations title to the nation.
Barry was the centre of attention in the decisive penalty shoot-out in Bata, one the Ivorians claimed 9-8 to down Ghana and lift the continental trophy.
The custodian watched on as team-mates Wilfried Bony and Gadji Tallo missed the target in Ivory Coast's first two spot kicks.
But Barry saved Ghana's third pen - taken by Afriyie Acquah - and when Frank Acheampong put the Ghanaians' fourth penalty wide, it allowed Ivory Coast to draw level and send it to sudden death.
Barry added to the drama with appearing injured on two separate occasions in the shoot-out, most noticeably before being required to take what turned out to be the decisive spot-kick.
And after tucking away the winner past opposite number Razak Brimah, having saved Brimah's effort moments earlier, Barry said he defied his critics to be the hero for Ivory Coast.
"I have been criticised, but I am able to progress," an emotional Barry told Canal+.
"I'm not big in talent nor in size, but I want to progress, I worked for the team.
"My mum suffered. Thanks to her, thank you to all Ivorians.
"Football allowed me to travel, there is no room for everyone; but there is room for the work.
"God rewarded me."
Herve Renard plotted the Ivorians' downfall in the 2012 final when leading Zambia to a fairytale title, but this time he helped break the nation's drought.
The French tactician dedicated the trophy to the Ivorian population, which is just shy of 24 million people.
"I'm happy for the Ivorian people," Renard said, as quoted by L'Equipe.
"There, the guys are rewarded.
"Sometimes but the important thing you can lose is to bounce back, never give up.
"This victory is magic for everyone, it brings [together] even those who do not feel the same way in the country.
"It will be a more than happy Ivory Coast. This is certainly the most important [thing].
"Against Cameroon, I felt we could win this tournament because it was a great Cameroon.
"We were in a very difficult group, the players did what we never imagined.
"At 2-0 [down] on penalties, I told myself that history would repeat itself, there was belief to the end.
"Just before Copa [Barry] hits the penalty, I said, 'a goalkeeper who worked with Jean-Marc Guillou is able to pull it off'."comments