Here we take a closer look at another failed Africa Cup of Nations bid for Didier Drogba and his "Golden Generation" of Ivory Coast superstars.
The dichotomy is difficult to ignore. Ivory Coast, the favourite of those who like to bet on football and a side who, on paper, had the most complete team at the Africa Cup of Nations, have missed out on the title because of their incompleteness.
With the Toures, Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Emmanuel Eboue, Gervinho, Arouna Kone and Didier Zokora, they had the most recognisable side at the tournament and were therefore the obvious favourites with bookmakers like Paddy Power.
Yet the old adage that football is a team game came back to haunt them in more ways than one.
For a start, the lack of a top-class goalkeeper has proven their downfall once again. Emmanuel Emenike and Sunday Mba both unleashed thunderbolts on Sunday evening, yet a better keeper than Boubacar Barry would have stopped at least one of them.
Barry has been the Ivory Coast's unopposed goalkeeper for six years now, in which time he has been involved in a semi-final defeat to Egypt in which he shipped four goals, a quarter-final loss to Algeria in which he failed to make a save (Ivory Coast lost 3-2 after extra time), a penalty shoot-out that saw Zambia crowned champions, and now this.
After Emenike's shot had sailed past him shortly before half-time on Sunday, Egyptian forward Mido tweeted that Barry had already won three AFCONs for Egypt.
Which is not quite true, but it did remind us that the best African teams have often failed because of a poor goalkeeper - ironically, something I raised in this column last week in the process of praising the improving standards of goalkeeping in Africa.
The other lesson on the importance of the team was in the Ivory Coast mindset. A group of talented individuals can produce some marvellous football, but if there is not genuine belief among the squad then they can not become greater than the sum of their parts.
If what they are reminded of when they come together is past failures, then it does not take long for that doubt to become crippling when they suddenly find themselves on the back foot, as was the case on Sunday.
South African readers who have even a passing interest in cricket will know what I'm referring to, and will know what label is usually attached to such teams. For the others, I'll give you a hint - it begins with a 'c'.
There was certainly a sense that even if the Ivory Coast players did not quite become frozen with fear, they were not able to play with the freedom that brings the best out of sportsmen.
And so Drogba will, in all likelihood, end his career without an AFCON medal. This should be a source of sadness for all supporters of African football, because for all his faults at Chelsea, the 34-year-old has done an awful lot for the African game and his country.
Indefensibly petulant during his time in London, Drogba has almost always turned statesman when he has put on the orange shirt and has become known for both his charity work and peace efforts back home.
These are things worth feting, and an AFCON crown would have been an appropriate way of doing so. But as Zambia coach Herve Renard says constantly, 'zees eez football'.