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Zambia prepares for emotional final

Preview of African Cup of Nations final between Zambia and Ivory Coast

Updated: February 9, 2012, 3:47 PM ET
By Michael Cox | Special to ESPN.com

An international final is a mere game of football, yet there is always a wider narrative.

The World Cup final of 2010, for example, was a fantastic tale because the Netherlands, the most legendary football nation never to win a World Cup, failed to do so again. And it was defeated by a country that had borrowed so many of the Dutch's Total Football principles, transferred through Johan Cruyff, through Barcelona. It was a cruel irony.

African football's tales ...

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