Sadio Mane, Kalidou Koulibaly, Lamine Camara set to light up Senegal as they seek to retain AFCON title

* Mané will be seeking redemption and will undoubtedly be the player to watch during this tournament

* Capable of lightning-fast accelerations, he is one of the fastest attackers globally

Maravi Express

Grouped alongside Cameroon, Gambia and Guinea, champions Senegal has a new mission and aims to relive the emotion of that memorable night on February 6, 2022 ahead of their defence of the Africa Cup of Nations Côte d’Ivoire 2023 that kicks off on January 13.


The memorable night is still resonating in the minds of Teranga Lions’ supporters and for this edition, coach Aliou Cisse will rely on key players like Kalidou Koulibaly, the emerging talent of Lamine Camara and Sadio Mané.

A notable absentee from the FIFA World Cup, Qatar 2022™, Sadio Mané will be seeking redemption and will undoubtedly be the player to watch during this tournament.

The Bambali native is a forward who excels in exploiting space behind opponents, being quicker than defenders and showcasing exceptional technical ability.

Capable of lightning-fast accelerations, he is one of the fastest attackers globally and summing him up, former Senegal coach Alain Giresse told Eurosport about Sadio Mané — saying: “In his game, everything is spontaneous.

“He has a very good football intelligence. He knows how to read the game. He’s the type of player capable of quickly analyzing a situation and finding the solution.”

Senegal open their campaign in Group C against The Gambia on January 15 before facing Cameroon on January 19 and Guinea on January 23.

The Teranga Lions qualified for the African football showpiece with a 1-0 victory against Mozambique, clinching a place with two matchdays to spare.

Coach Aliou Cissé is primarily a leader of men and this is his third continental final with the Lions of Teranga.

An advocate for the importance of psychological aspects and a winning mentality inherited from his playing years under Bruno Metsu, Cissé emphasizes an offensive style of play.

His strategy revolves around playing in the opponent’s half for as long as possible, supported by a solid defensive foundation, demanding much in ball distribution, in a game that combines possession, construction, and extremely fast counters led by wide midfielders tasked with stretching the play.

Aliou Cisse

Senegal’s AFCON achievements include being finalists three time in 2002 and 2019 as silver medalists and 2021 as champions and three semifinal qualification in 1965, 1990 and 2006 — where they came 4th on all occasions after losing in the 3rd place play-off.

They have been in five quarterfinals (1992, 1994, 2000, 2004 and 2017) and went out in group stages in 1968, 1986: 2008 and 2012.

The 2023 season also marked Senegal’s tremendous fairytale run in CAF competitions in a year as the Under-20 also clinched their first-ever U-20 AFCON title when they beat their neighbours The Gambia 2-0 in March to add to the country’s.


The Under-17 also added more glory to their nation by winning the 2022 AFCON U-17 in Algeria that also earned them 3 additional accolades — Fair Play award, third Man of the Match (by teenage sensation Lamine Camara) and Best Goalkeeper Award(Pape Mamadou Sy).

The achievement earned them a place at the U-17 FIFA World Cup in Singapore where they also made history by qualifying into the knockout stages of the Round of 16 where they were beat 3-5 on penalties by France.

Senegal are also AFCON Beach Soccer champions and will represent Africa at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup UAE 2024™ grouped with  Colombia, Belarus and Japan in Group C.—Info from CAFonline