Aliou Cissé convinces Strasbourg’s Habib Diarra to reject France selection for Senegal

According to L’Équipe, Habib Diarra (20) will reject any further call-ups from France as he chooses instead to represent his birth nation of Senegal. 

The RC Strasbourg Alsace midfielder was not included in Thierry Henry’s under-23s squad announcement as France prepares for the Summer Olympics. However, the nation had looked to retain his services by including him in the under-20s setup. 

It’s a selection that Diarra will now reject after Senegal manager Aliou Cissé convinced the midfielder to swap allegiances. Diarra had over the summer previously rebuffed Cissé’s approaches and appeared at the time to be dedicated to trying to break into the under-21s setup for France. 

Habib Diarra to become a figurehead for Senegal

The midfielder had made some progress and earned a few caps, but these opportunities dried up with the appointment of Thierry Henry as the manager. Cissé was persistent and eventually convinced Diarra that he would be at the forefront of a new generation for his country. 

Diarra will now follow in his father’s footsteps and look to be catapulted into the main team for Senegal, where he will hope to earn his debut in the friendlies scheduled later this month against Gabon and Benin. 

GFFN | Nick Hartland

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