There’s a day by day ritual on Senegal’s seashores that starts simply because the solar begins to set at about 5pm. Roughly divided by means of age, loads of younger males play soccer till it will get darkish or the tides of the Atlantic Ocean wash away their pitches and the discarded tires getting used as impromptu goalposts.
It simplest takes a couple of mins of gazing the dazzling array of talents on display to know why Teranga Lions have gained Africa’s Beach Soccer Cup of Nations on seven of the previous 9 events, even though it wanted any other penalty shootout victory over Egypt to assert their fourth successive name in October.
It is not any coincidence that final season Senegal, with 51, was once the African nation with the easiest choice of avid gamers within the best 5 European leagues – a complete that put them tenth at the international listing. Thanks to the pathway supplied by means of academies corresponding to Dakar’s Generation Foot – which helped to provide Sadio Mané and Ismaïla Sarr on account of its hyperlinks with the French membership Metz – a rustic with a inhabitants of 17 million continues to punch above its weight.
The president, Macky Sall, awarded each and every participant in Senegal’s squad £64,000 and two plots of land for his or her shootout victory towards Egypt within the Africa Cup of Nations Cup ultimate in February in popularity in their ancient triumph. But Saer Seck, who arrange the Diambars academy with the Crystal Palace supervisor Patrick Vieira in 2003, believes that fulfillment might be crowned by means of beating England on the World Cup in Sunday’s last-16 showdown. “It would be an earthquake,” he says. “This is a very big moment for the team and everyone is prepared to play the game of their lives.”
Diambars, located in Saly on Senegal’s Petite Côte, is the place Idrissa Gueye and Saliou Ciss started their careers ahead of becoming a member of golf equipment in Europe. But with the staff’s talisman Mané out of the match and the skilled defender Ciss no longer decided on, Cheikhou Kouyaté sidelined by means of a hamstring harm sustained towards the Netherlands and Gueye suspended, the trainer, Aliou Cissé, will face England with out 4 of the aspect that began towards Egypt in Yaoundé.
“With Sadio it’s another story,” says Seck, a former vice-president of the Senegalese Football Association. “The team is no longer individuals because the strongest is not here, so we have to fight together to succeed. But each team has its own injuries so we can’t cry about that. Against England we will be missing four players due to injuries and suspensions and they all have a lot of experience. So it’s a different team but they will all be focused and ready to fight.”
In Qatar, Cissé has been happy to allow El Hadji Diouf – a teammate from the side that famously reached the last eight at the 2002 World Cup – to do most of the talking. The former Liverpool forward is Sall’s special advisor for sport as he targets becoming president of the Senegalese FA one day, although there is no doubt who calls the shots when it comes to the team.
“Aliou has proved he is an excellent coach with very strong and solid knowledge of the game,” says Seck. “He has been in football for more than 30 years and has been our manager since 2015. All his boys understand what he is telling them to do in preparation for the games. And this is enough to inspire them to follow him when they go on to the pitch. Having Aliou Cissé in charge of this team is one of our biggest strengths.”
Khalilou Fadiga, a former Bolton and Coventry winger and another member of the famous 2002 side who were defeated by Turkey after shocking the holders France in the opening match thanks to Papa Bouba Diop’s winner, is also in Qatar to add his experience to the Senegal party . But could the ice-cool Cissé, who captained that team before playing for Birmingham and Portsmouth in the Premier League, become the first African manager in the Premier League one day?
“If you had one clever president in the Premier League I think he could be a very good manager,” says Seck. “I’ve been very close to him in the management of the national team for a long time so I know him very well and I’m sure he has the ability to lead a very good project in club football. And I know that Aliou Cissé is prepared to go there and make it.”
For now, Cissé has his points of interest set on making extra historical past towards England. After the victory in Seoul over their former colonial masters France twenty years in the past Senegal’s then president, Abdoulaye Wade, declared a countrywide vacation and Seck is adamant that overcoming Gareth Southgate’s aspect will have much more importance.
“This would be more historic because it would mean a place in the quarter-finals,” he says. “I feel that England are the favorites however the sport isn’t over but. We are speaking about soccer and, in soccer, religion is essential. Our staff has religion, braveness and we will be able to combat. It may not be simple for England – there may be surely a quiet self belief about our staff. Let’s see what occurs however we will be able to be able to take our probabilities.”