Coulibaly key to Senegal’s hopes of shocking England


DOHA, Qatar – It was only a matter of time before an African team lost its best player on the eve of a world Cup would spell disaster, but Senegal have already shown that they are much more than just sadio mane,

– World Cup 2022: News and Features , Schedule , squads

World’s second best player out of Qatar after suffering hamstring injury while playing for club Bayern Munich In his absence, just days before the start of the tournament, coach Aliu Cisse’s team came through Group A to set up a round-of-16 tie. England at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday.

Even after Mane’s ouster, there was a quiet belief in the West African county of 17 million people that they could pull off a group Netherlands, Ecuador and host Queue, Now they feel that anything can happen in the knockout round.

Senegal is one of only three African nations to have reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup, after reaching the last eight in Japan and South Korea in 2002.

It is possible that France may lie in wait in the quarters, but there remains a perception, at least at home, that this Senegalese team, winners of their maiden Africa Cup of Nations in February, could be the first African team to reach a World Cup semi-final .

There’s a lot of confidence in players like Kalidou CoulibalyScorer of crucial second goal in last group game against Ecuador to qualify.

If Mane is the star, then Coulibaly is the cement – especially during qualifying when Senegal conceded just five goals in eight games.

Coulibaly has used his many media commitments in Qatar to emphasize that Senegal is not just Mane and a few others.

After his goal against Ecuador, he said, “Two-thirds of the world probably thought we wouldn’t be able to walk after Sadio’s injury.” “But we are a family, a well-oiled team. The dream is to go beyond the quarter-finals. We keep believing, we want to add to the story of Senegalese football.”

Like Cisse, who is known to be a people-manager and motivator rather than a tactical genius, team spirit and togetherness is one of Koulibaly’s strong suits.

sources have told ESPN that when Chelsea Wanted to sign centre-back in summer, club bosses asked jorginhoa former teammate napoli, to a character reference and was told “everyone will love him.” Jorginho has been proved right and after only a few months, Coulibaly – once a £90million target manchester united — A central part of the dressing room at Stamford Bridge.

He impressed Chelsea in the summer when he asked former captain John Terry for permission to take the number 26 shirt – the same number he wore at Napoli. He knew it would make comparisons easy, especially since he and Terry play in the same position, but didn’t get fazed by the added pressure.

, ESPN’s World Cup Knockout Round Bracket

However, Coulibaly still favors Premier League eight years later serie a and has been caught more than once trying to win the ball over the pitch. It was his aggressive style of defending that saw him shown the red card in a 3–0 defeat leeds united in August.

The 31-year-old, who was born in France and has spent his entire career in Europe, is an example of how African football has evolved over time.

Coulibaly is one of 10 players in the Senegal team who play their club football in England while the other five play either spain either Italy, The last time England faced an African country in the knockout round of the World Cup – a quarter-final against the finalists cameroon In the 1990’s — it was hard to find information on players.

Thirty-two years ago, the bulk of the Cameroon squad, the first from Africa to reach the quarterfinals, was based at home with only one based in England, Italy or Spain. If Gareth Southgate wants any additional knowledge on Koulibaly, he only needs to ask his Chelsea club-mates Raheem Sterling, mason mount either conor gallagher,

It won’t matter to Senegal, who will believe they have the players – even without Mane – to go toe-to-toe with the best in Europe and South America.

Cameroon shocked the World Cup holders in 1990 Argentina In their opening game and in 2002, Senegal did the same to defending champions France. The day’s goal scorer, Papa Bouba Diop, died aged just 42 in November 2020 – the two-year anniversary falling on the same day that Senegal progressed to the round of 16 after beating Ecuador and Coulibaly later Dedicated to his goal and result. the former fulham and the Portsmouth midfielder.

In 2002 one of Diop’s comrades, El-Hadji Diouf – in Qatar as an advisor to Cisse – has already warned England that, like France 20 years earlier, they are undermining Senegal, especially because Mane are not here. Coulibaly is sending a similar message that the Senegalese is much more than just Mane and he will be out to prove it again on Sunday.

Source link