Dakar, 21 Nov. “Confidence” is the word that comes out of the mouths of the young Senegalese when they are asked about the debut of their team today in the World Cup in Qatar 2022 against the Netherlands, despite the absence of their star player, Sadio Mané.
“Personally, I think Senegal will do well. The Dutch are difficult, but I have confidence in the team,” Mohamed Sarr told EFE hours before Senegal’s first game, drawn in group A of the World Cup, along with the Netherlands, Ecuador and Taste.
A big soccer fan, this 17-year-old student, who will watch his team’s debut at home with his family, assures that “it’s going to be hard because it’s a World Cup,” but “I know that if the cup is going to be ours, the We’re going to get it, game by game”.
Winner of the African Cup last January and with Mané named as the best player of the tournament, Senegal received the bad news on November 8 of the injury suffered by the Bayern Munich striker during the Bayern-Werder Bremen match, which has prevented him from finally participate in the championship.
THE ABSENCE OF MANÉ
“Can Senegal do without Sadio Mané? That is what the population is wondering today. If we can beat the Dutch without Sadio Mané, we will have the confidence that Senegal will go far in a World Cup,” the man told EFE. young Babacar Ndoye, 26 years old.
Sarr assures that, “even without Sadio Mané, we can face them, because Sadio Mané was just a reinforcement for the team”.
The striker’s name has not stopped ringing these days in Senegal, where the population had the possibility of a speedy recovery.
The restoration was also desired on social networks by the country’s president, Macky Sall, who has been in Qatar since last weekend to watch the game, which will take place at the Al Thumama stadium in Doha.
In addition, Sall delivered the national flag to the “Lions of Teranga” (as the team is popularly known) yesterday in Doha and wished them good luck.
CHAMPIONS OF AFRICA
“We know the Dutch, it is a team that is not easy to beat, but we also have a good team, with good players who are in big clubs,” says Ndoye, assuring that it is a “difficult” game and that “cannot be taken lightly”.
Despite the long absence, Ndoye, who will watch the game this afternoon with his friends, is confident “100%” that they can beat the Dutch.
“I just trust them and I think that Senegal, as African champions, will have to prove their level to the world,” he remarks, noting that, “with the exception of Senegal, I think nobody trusts that we will beat the Dutch.”
In a pre-match press conference, Senegal’s coach Aliou Cissé expressed confidence in his players.
“Our past gives us a lot of confidence. We maintain that humility that makes our team, but we are ambitious for this World Cup,” he said in statements collected today by the Senegalese Press Agency (APS).
The one in Qatar 2022 is the third World Cup that Senegal has played, after qualifying for the one in South Korea/Japan in 2002 and the one in Brazil in 2018.
In 2002, Senegal managed to defeat France – then champions – in the opening match and advance to the quarterfinals, where they were eliminated by Turkey.
In 2018, the “lions” reached the group stage tied on points with Japan, but went down in World Cup history as the first team to be eliminated via “fair play”, for having more yellow cards than the Japanese team EFE