Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure has said he knows how much is riding on their FIFA World Cup performance back home.
The Ivorians are preparing to compete in their third successive World Cup finals after a debut appearance in Germany eight years ago, but they have yet to reach the knockout stages.
Since 1999, two civil wars have broken out in the west African nation, and Toure feels the fortunes of the national side have been instrumental in helping Ivorians in their homeland.
"For many years, football has played a big part in the lives of the people," the Manchester City man told the Mirror.
"Life during the war was so difficult for everyone. Conditions were bad, life was tough, and we just wanted to give our people some happiness.
"The aim of the team has always been to play together and to make the people of the Ivory Coast feel happy and proud about our country.
"We say to them, 'enjoy the way we play football, don't think about the war'. Of course, that is good. It makes you feel proud. But it also puts you under a lot of pressure every time you play for your country.
"Because you know how important it is, you are desperate to do well. You can't always win in football. Sometimes there are disappointments – and we have had too many disappointments.
"That's when, sometimes, it can get too much for the people and they show the negative side of their passion."
Toure said the time is now for Ivory Coast to display their potential, and also hinted his international retirement could come soon.
"We have an amazing squad of players and we all think it is about time we reach our full potential," Toure said.
"When I look around and see players like (Didier) Drogba, (Salomon) Kalou, (Wilfried) Bony, Gervinho and (Didier) Zokora, I can only be filled with confidence.
"Why we haven't gone on to win a trophy is something I can't understand.
"We want and we hope we make it soon because some of us haven't got a lot of time left to be winners.
"It won't be long until we have to step aside and let the younger generation come through."
|Ramsey hamstring injury ´not a big one´|
|Watford´s Zeegelaar gets three-match ban as appeal is rejected|
|Matthaus raves about Spurs star Kane|
|´Several clubs´ discussing Arda move as Barca exit nears|
|No ultimatum as Arsenal´s Ozil and Sanchez talks rumble on|
|Su-Mourinho? Wenger offers advice to City and United|
|Bayern planning ´serious talks´ with Robben, Ribery|
|Pereira replaces Villas-Boas at Shanghai SIPG|
|Van Gaal rejected Leverkusen to hold out for a ´big club´|
|Inzaghi and Lazio left feeling ´defrauded´ after Torino defeat|
|Man United more boring under Mourinho, claims Van Gaal|
|Zidane: Real Madrid want to win Club World Cup|
|Morata ruled out of Huddersfield trip due to ´impossible´ workload|
|Valverde singles out Hazard & Morata as chief Chelsea threats|
|Lazio 1 Torino 3: Inzaghi´s men lose ground as Immobile sees red|
|Reading 2 Cardiff City 2: Late comeback makes light of Warnock dismissal|
|Wagner received no contact over Borussia Dortmund job|
|A Mourinho myth? Man United booked for simulation more than any Premier League side|
|Ronaldo´s ego is his biggest motivator - Valdano|
|Bayern threaten legal action over Leno transfer rumours|
|Potter delighted by underdog Ostersunds´ trip to Arsenal|
|Chelsea can bounce back from West Ham loss, says Conte|
|Real Madrid will relish PSG test, says Xabi Alonso|
|Conte urges Chelsea to be ´positive´ over Barca Champions League draw|
|Heynckes wary of Besiktas threat|
|Ostersunds handed fairytale Arsenal tie, Napoli face Leipzig|
|Emery: PSG ´can compete with Real Madrid´|
|Totti urges Roma focus on Serie A despite encouraging Champions League draw|
|Europa League: Last 32 draw in full|
|Messi faces toughest foe in Champions League|
|AC Milan signed too many players, admits Fassone|
|Real Madrid face PSG, Chelsea drawn with Barcelona|
|FA seeking information over Manchester derby incident|
|He is one of the best strikers in the Premier League - Wilshere hails Giroud|
|Mata: No time to mourn derby defeat|
|Hitzfeld tells Nagelsmann to honour Hoffenheim contract|
|Amor: Mascherano future to become clear soon|
|Huddersfield confident of Chelsea scalp - Ince|
|De Bruyne: Man City have to enjoy derby victory|
|There is no-one like Messi – Alcacer|
|Kane: Bring on the best in Champions League|
|Neville: Lukaku needs to believe amid Man United struggles|
|Messi best player of all time – Rakitic|
|Gattuso: I´m even tense playing football with my son|
|Suarez admits Villarreal red swung it for Barcelona|
|Villarreal win ´crucial´ for Barcelona boss Valverde|
|Villarreal 0 Barcelona 2: Suarez, Messi restore five-point LaLiga lead|
|AC Milan 2 Bologna 1: Bonaventura brace breaks Gattuso´s duck|
|Guardiola: Man City are an honest team|
|Mourinho: Herrera denied clear penalty in derby defeat|
|Mourinho admits title race ´probably´ over|
|Simeone defends Atleti´s style after battling win over Betis|
|Manchester City´s 14th win on the spin sets new top-flight record|
|Manchester United 1 Manchester City 2: Otamendi strikes massive blow in Premier League title race|
|Allardyce praises ´brave´ Pawson after penalty decision|
|Atletico Madrid set club-record unbeaten run in LaLiga|
|Ajax 3 PSV 0: Eredivisie title race gets new lease of life|
|Klopp involved in post-match spat with reporter|
|Rooney backs awarding of ´clear penalty´|
|Real Betis 0 Atletico Madrid 1: Rojiblancos make history to assuage Champions League pain|
|Klopp rages at referee after late penalty denies Liverpool|
|Liverpool 1 Everton 1: Late Rooney penalty secures unlikely derby draw|
|Napoli 0 Fiorentina 0: Sarri´s men miss chance to usurp Inter|
|Martial and Rashford both start Manchester derby as Jesus edges out Aguero|
|Neuer in no doubt over World Cup fitness|
|Wenger labels Saints sinners over time-wasting|
|Super-sub Giroud celebrates being Arsenal´s saviour again|
|Southampton 1 Arsenal 1: Super-sub Giroud rescues last-gasp point|
|Firmino and Coutinho on bench for Merseyside derby|
|Stoger ready to grab ´incredible opportunity´ at Dortmund|
|Courtois keen to resolve Chelsea future|
|Borussia Dortmund sack Bosz, bring in Stoger|
|Melbourne City 1 Central Coast Mariners 0: McCormack eases Cahill blues|
|Dortmund to hold news conference with Bosz on the brink|
|Guardiola: I would retire if possession football did not work|
|There´s no comparison, Ronaldo is best – Marcelo|
|Baker Mayfield wins Heisman Trophy|
|Bradley revels in ´dream´ MLS Cup success|
|Valverde unsure about Mascherano future|
|Allegri pleased with Juve display|
|Mourinho highlights City´s tactical fouls to ramp up ref pressure|
|Spalletti makes his point as Inter show they belong in Serie A title race|
|Toronto FC 2 Seattle Sounders 0: Altidore and Vazquez seal MLS Cup and historic treble|