Despite suffering an injury to his right fibula earlier this week, Sadio Mane, who holds the record for most goals scored by a Senegalese player, has been nominated to his country’s World Cup squad for the competition that will begin later this month in Qatar.
The prolific forward, who is widely regarded as one of the best African players of all time and has scored 34 times while representing Senegal, staggered off the field on Tuesday during his club Bayern Munich’s 6-1 thrashing of Werder Bremen. He has scored 34 goals while representing Senegal.
However, the head coach Aliou Cisse included the team’s talisman when he named his 26-man squad during a news conference in Dakar on Friday. Cisse stated that he was sure that Mane might recover in time to compete in the tournament.
He stated that the Senegalese national team physician, Manuel Afonso, traveled to Munich to evaluate the severity of Mane’s injury and was informed that the injury would not require surgical intervention.
Ismaila Sarr, an attacker for Watford, was hurt going into the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations in January but was still a part of Senegal’s squad. Sarr was able to recover after the first round of the tournament and contribute to Senegal’s success in the competition. Cisse cited the case of Sarr as an example.
Cisse continued by saying, “We will do all in our power to ensure that we can recover Mane in time to play.”
Even while the health of Mane will be absolutely essential to Senegal’s chances, this is not a one-man team.
Cisse retained faith with the majority of the group that won the Cup of Nations in Cameroon. However, he did pick Monaco defender Ismail Jakobs and Ilimane Ndiaye from Sheffield United. Both of these players have one cap apiece, and Nicolas Jackson, who plays for Villarreal, is uncapped.
“Our guiding principles and vision were taken into consideration when selecting these guys. “They are competitors of a high level,” said Cisse, whose contract as coach was extended by a further two years on Thursday. Cisse was awarded the extension after receiving the news.
Following their first match of the competition on November 21 against the Netherlands, the Lions of Teranga will continue play in Group A against the tournament hosts, Qatar, as well as opponents Ecuador.
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