2014 World Cup - prospects of the participating african teams
2014 Fifa World Cup:
It is a long time since Cameroon lived up to their nickname of Indomitable Lions. They have failed to qualify for the last two Africa Cup of Nations amid player friction and discontent with Cameroon's football federation, which was briefly suspended by Fifa in July because of government interference. The national side is top heavy with defensive midfielders but lacking in creativity, to the extent that Barcelona's Alex Song has been deployed in an unfamiliar role as playmaker.
They received a World Cup lifeline in June when Fifa awarded them a 3:0 win v Togo, who had fielded a suspended player. Cameroon had lost the match 2:0 but the ruling put them top of their group. They then beat Tunisia 4:1 in their play-off.
Manchester City powerhouse Yaya Toure scored four times in six qualifiers, a tally bettered only by Lille forward Salomon Kalou.
The appointment of Sabri Lamouchi in May 2012 was hugely controversial. A French international who played at Euro 1996, he had no previous coaching experience. He dropped Drogba after a disappointing 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, but recalled the veteran striker in August.
How they qualified
Along with Nigeria, they were the only African side to end unbeaten. They easily topped their preliminary group ahead of Morocco before winning a play-off against Senegal 4:2 on aggregate. There were some nervy moments when they trailed 1:0 in the second leg in Casablanca, but Kalou's injury-time equaliser booked their place in Brazil.
They were drawn in the 'Group of Death' in their two previous tournaments. On both occasions they ended third, trailing Argentina and the Netherlands in 2006 and Brazil and Portugal in 2010.
Victor Moses has quickly become an integral figure since making his debut in 2012. He provided real cutting edge at this year's Africa Cup of Nations and was sorely missed at the Confederations Cup, for which he was injured.
Fifa ranking: 36
Former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan, 28, continues to lead from the front for Ghana. His six goals in as many qualifying appearances all came from open play and he averages more than a goal per game for his club side Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates.
How they qualified
World Cup record
• South Korea
Qualification for the World Cup marked a dramatic upturn in fortunes after their failure to reach the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations and becoming the first side to be knocked out of this year's edition. Algeria were bottom of their group at their last two World Cup finals, and any improvement is dependent on the successful integration of emerging players such as Inter Milan pair Saphir Taider and Ishak Belfodil. It also three years since they played outside Africa.
France-born Sofiane Feghouli, 23, is an attacking midfielder or winger who was described by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger a year ago as "exceptional" and "a physical beast".
Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, 61, took charge in July 2011 and the disciplinarian has cast aside several established players in favour of a new generation, many of whom represented France at youth level. Brazil will be his World Cup bow as a coach, having been sacked by Ivory Coast three months before the 2010 finals.
Algeria were the last African qualifiers, beating Cup of Nations finalists Burkina Faso 1:0 in the second leg of their play-off to advance on away goals after a 3:2 first-leg defeat. They won all but one game in the previous group stage.
In 1982, Algeria became the first African nation to win two matches in the same finals, but they failed to qualify from the group on goal difference after Germany and Austria contrived a result that allowed them both to progress. Algeria have not won a game in their subsequent two finals (1986 and 2010).