World Cup Countdown - Guy Demel

West Ham United defender Guy Demel will be an interested observer when the FIFA World Cup kicks off in Brazil later this month.

The defender represented Ivory Coast at the last two World Cups, but will have a watching brief on this occasion as Les Elephants aim to go one better than last time.

On that occasion they were dumped out at the group stage, but facing Greece, Colombia and Japan this summer, Demel believes they have a great chance of making a real mark.

He said: "The draw wasn't that bad for Ivory Coast this time, so hopefully they will do better than in the previous World Cup, even though we went out with four points.

"It would be nice to see them get out of the group phase and after that everything is open. I'm really happy for my country and my teammates. To be at three World Cups in a row is something huge.

"We all know that Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba are top players. A lot of the team have played or play in the Premier League - Kolo Toure, Soloman Kalou.

"There is a midfield player at Basel too, Serey Die, who is going to be the main player for me - the player to watch."

Demel's own World Cup experiences saw him come up against some of the best players on the planet and that is something he will always cherish.

He added: "Playing at the World Cup was huge - it's the biggest event in the world, so being a part of that is something you can't really describe.

"I had the chance to play against people like Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi. Of course, as a footballer, it's the best place you can be at."

As for this year's winners, Demel thinks the European teams could prove hard to beat.

"There are a few teams who can win it, Spain still, Germany, Italy. England, who knows?"