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Hamburg 17:00 Verona

Demel delight at new deal

By Giscard Gourizro.   Last Updated: 05/05/06 5:02pm

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Ivory Coast midfielder Guy Demel is happy he can head to the World Cup in a clear frame of mind after signing on a new contract with Hamburg.

Demel has secured an extension to stay with Hamburg until 2010 and is delighted to commit his future to the Bundesliga side.

He is also pleased that the issue has been resolved before the World Cup finals start in Germany on June 9.

"I am very happy to put pen-to-paper," Demel told skysports.com. "My new contract is sorted out.

"I will go to the World Cup with a clear state of mind and prove that the Ivorian team is a strong outsider."

Ivory Coast will be making their World Cup debuts next month and have been drawn in the 'Group of Death' alongside Argentina, Holland and Serbia & Montenegro.

Demel believes the African side have a good chance of causing an upset and feels the first game against Argentina will be key to the team's prospects.

He added: "We have a very difficult group. All the games will be a battle. We have power and skills in our team.

"I think physically we will be on top of our game.

"If Aruna (Dindane), (Didier) Drogba and (Bonaventure) Kalou are on song, believe me, we will be close.

"We have a strong midfield with myself, Yaya Toure, (Didier) Zokora and Emerse Faye. We are so strong there.

"Fingers crossed, with no injuries, we will be there.

"The first game will be important. We are playing in my team's stadium. I hope we will get the support."

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