Senegal’s head coach, Aliou Cissé, spoke about the reality of its World Cup without its super star – Sadio Mané. In a press conference transcribed by Ouest-France, the message from the former PSG player was clear, “First of all, sorrow. Sorrows for the kid, for Sadio. Of course we do not hide the importance of Sadio. For Senegal, he is very important. For the most part, a coach builds a team around his best player, around the best players. Now, we wish him a full recovery and hope he can come back under better conditions.”
The Sadio Mané – Aliou Cissé duo has been a thing of beauty over the last few years. Under Cissé, Senegal won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2021 and were runners up in 2019. The Senegalese coach was also named the CAF (Confederation of African Football) coach of the year for 2022 for his accomplishments with his national team.
Moving on without Mané wont be easy, but Cissé has not enjoyed this amount of success by luck. The veteran manager has a talented team and will look to bring them together as a cohesive unit for the biggest tournament in the world. He went on to say, “Nevertheless, the group is a collective of experienced and young players who are ready to take on the challenge. We have played matches without Sadio. Though they were not major matches of the size, spirits are high and I believe all of the guys are ready to accept the challenge.”
Senegal will take on a massive challenge in their first match of the World Cup November 21, 2022 against the Netherlands. If Senegal can find a way to win, they will be in a good position to manage its way through its group which consists of Senegal, Netherlands, Ecuador and the host country Qatar.
GFFN | Tony DesRois