Drogba: Let me tackle boys from Brazil

PORT ELIZABETH - Ivory Coast captain and key striker Didier Drogba, who fractured his forearm 11 days ago, said he was ready to be included in the starting lineup for the match against Brazil later this week.

Drogba came on as a 66th minute substitute in his team's Group G opener against Portugal on Tuesday that ended in a goalless draw.

"I could be ready. We have five days to prepare this game, I'm there, I'm there," he told reporters.

Ivory Coast face Brazil at the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday before playing North Korea in Nelspruit on June 25.

A FIFA spokesman had earlier said the Chelsea striker would be allowed to wear a protective cast on his right arm if he played, after it was inspected and approved by the match referee and the Portuguese delegation.

"Every time you are on the pitch, there is a risk, but with the protection I had I knew there was no risk unless I fell to the ground," Drogba said when asked about his decision to be included in the final minutes of Tuesday's match.

Although Drogba is not the first player to appear in the World Cup wearing a protective cast, the fact angered Portugal's coach Carlos Queiroz who said players had been kept off the pitch in the past for wearing string bracelets.

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