Journalism in the service of society

All football fans will miss Sadio Mane in Qatar — Senegal coach

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse believes that fans across the globe will feel Sadio Mane’s absence from the Qatar 2022 World Cup, after the forward was ruled out of the tournament with a leg injury.

Bayern Munich star Mane, who came second to Karim Benzema in this year’s Men’s Ballon D’Or, injured his right fibula playing for the Bundesliga champions last week, just days to the World Cup.

His absence was confirmed on Thursday and the Teranga Lions will be without their best player for the global tournament.

The African champions kick off their campaign against the Netherlands at Al Thumama Stadium tomorrow, and Cisse insists the showpiece will be poorer without the African Player of the Year.

“We’re not just talking about the Senegalese people here. I think people all over the world,” the former Senegal captain told reporters today.

“The whole football family is saddened by what has happened because he was the second best player in the world and he represents the African continent, as well as representing Senegal.

“It’s very, very sad for him. Especially, we wish him a speedy recovery. I hope he gets back to playing football as quickly as possible.”

Senegal forward Krepin Diatta described Mane as the team’s leader.

“When you talk about the spirit and the morale, of course, it affects you,” Diatta said. “He is our best player. He’s a leader in that respect. Of course, we would have liked him to be here but God decided otherwise.

“We do though still have a very strong mentality we comfortable being together… It’s a big loss, but we have a strong mentality. We show teamwork and we’re good together. And I’m sure we’re going to get some good results at this World Cup.”

Cisse added that he was confident Edouard Mendy would show his ability at the World Cup, despite the goalkeeper losing his number one spot at Chelsea.

“I’ve no doubt about his quality as a goalkeeper. And I’m sure that he is going to prove during this World Cup that he is one of those top goalkeepers,” he said.

“So hopefully he’ll have an excellent tournament. He’s got a lot to prove. But he’s going to rise to that challenge I’m sure.”

Comments are closed.

Naija Times