BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Kilmarnock star Souleymane Coulibaly insists he cannot wait to test himself against his “big brother” Kolo Toure after the Ivorian idol joined Celtic.
Coulibaly, 21, is proving an immediate fans’ favourite with the Rugby Park side, bagging three goals in as many Betfred Cup fixtures and thrilling punters with his trademark somersault celebration.
However, he knows he will need to step up a gear when he faces national hero Toure, who boasts 118 caps for the Ivory Coast and was part of Arsenal’s famous ‘Invincibles’.
It is a thrilling prospect for the acrobatic attacker, once labelled ‘the new Didier Drogba’, as he acknowledged that Celtic’s latest marquee signing is a shining example for all youngsters coming through the ranks with the The Elephants.
Former Ivory Coast under-20 international Coulibaly said: “I consider him a role model for me and for all the players in the national team. Last year he won the African Cup so he is a great example players from the Ivory Coast.
“He is the same as his brother, Yaya, and [Didier] Drogba. These are players the country looks up to and important people.
“He’s like a big brother to me – with the Ivory Coast we talk about all the senior players as our ‘brothers’ – and maybe I will speak with him about Scottish football and Celtic later . . . after we play each other!
“It will be good to play against him because he has a lot of experience and did a lot of amazing things, starting when he was young. It is great for the Scottish Premiership to have him here.
“I respect him, but as a footballer I will do everything to win. After the game he will be my big brother again, but out on the pitch I need to do my job for Killie.”
Coulibaly’s blistering start to life in Scottish football continued against Berwick Rangers on Tuesday evening, with the former Tottenham Hotspur kid scoring a double to inspire a dramatic comeback as Killie claimed a 3-2 win.
With the League 2 side racing into a 2-0 lead after 55 minutes, the turnaround was laudable – but Coulibaly insists the fact they were in that position in the first place was “embarrassing”.
He continued: “I’m happy we got three points but we must start games better because next week the league starts. We don’t have a lot of time left.
“Losing 2-0 was so embarrassing for me, so I said ‘I need to do something’ and, thank God, I did. I’m always confident but when you start like that it’s not good for the fans.”
Killie, who trail Morton by two points, conclude their Group H campaign at home to Albion Rovers on Saturday, while the Greenock outfit host Berwick Rangers, knowing a win will see them qualify in top spot.