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FACTBOX-Soccer-African Nations Cup finalists Niger

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Jan 10 (Reuters) - Factbox on African Nations Cup finalists Niger ahead of this year's tournament in South Africa from Jan. 19 to Feb. 10:

Previous appearances in African Nations Cup finals: 1

FIFA world ranking Dec 2012: 105

Coach:

Gernot Rohr guided co-hosts Gabon to the quarter-finals of the last Nations Cup, where they were unlucky to lose on penalties. He took over the Niger job in September. The 59-year-old played at Bayern Munich and Girondins Bordeaux and then coached Bordeaux when they lost to Bayern in the 1996 UEFA Cup final.

Key players:

Moussa Maazou (Etoile Sahel) Age: 24. Pos: Forward

Bulldozing forward whose has been the country's highest profile export to Europe, playing at Bordeaux, Monaco, Le Mans, CSKA Moscow and lastly in Belgium, but unable to pin down a long term contract. He has now moved to Tunisia in the hopes of restoring his club career.

Daouda Kassaly (Chippa United). Age: 29 Pos: Goalkeeper

Played for Cameroon club Coton Sport in the 2007 African Champions League final and won four league titles with the club. Before he was also a national champion in Niger with Sahel SC. He moved to the South African league in 2012 to join newly promoted Chippa United of Cape Town.

Kamilou Daouda (JS Saoura). Age: 25 Pos: Forward

Well-travelled striker who has played at clubs in Cameroon, Libya, Tunisia and, since July, with the newly promoted JS Saoura in the top flight of Algerian football. Had his best spell at Al Ittihad in Libya but was forced to flee when the league stopped there in March 2011 because of the rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

Prospects:

Niger were evidently out of their depth at the 2012 finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, where they made their Nations Cup debut but lost all three first round group games. They again had good fortune in the 2013 qualifiers and surprisingly return for a second successive tournament but without the prospect of bettering their performance of 12 months ago. (Compiled by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Tom Pilcher)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130109/factbox-soccer-african-nations-cup-finalists-niger