Dakar – Senegal coach Aliou Cisse named a squad on Friday he hopes will finally bring him an Africa Cup of Nations which has eluded him for over two decades.
The 45-year-old tasted defeat in a final first as captain in 2002 – he missed a penalty in the shootout defeat to Cameroon — and then as coach in 2019.
“I want this Africa Cup of Nations. I have been running after it since 1999,” he said at the press conference after unveiling the squad.
For his third finals as coach he has selected a group which includes 17 who have yet to play in the biennial African football showpiece.
“It is not the novelty (of the finals) that will make the difference but they can bring a freshness of approach to the squad,” he said.
However, there is experience too in the shape of Liverpool star Sadio Mane, Paris Saint Germain midfielder Idrissa Gueye, Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
Senegal are in Group B and open their campaign against Zimbabwe on January 10 before further games against Guinea (January 14) and Malawi (January 18) for the tournament that kicks off on January 9 and runs till February 6.
Goalkeepers: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea/ENG), Alfred Gomis (Rennes/FRA), Seni Dieng (QPR/ENG).
Defenders: Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli/ITA), Ibrahima Mbaye (Bologna/ITA), Bouna Sarr (Bayern Munich/GER), Cheikhou Kouyaté (Crystal Palace/ENG), Abdou Diallo (PSG/FRA) Abdoulaye Seck (Royal Antwerp/BEL), Fodé Ballo Touré (AC Milan/ITA), Abdou Diallo (PSG/FRA), Saliou Ciss (Nancy/FRA).
Midfielders: Idrissa Gueye (PSG/FRA), Nampalys Mendy (Leicester City/ENG), Pape Matar Sarr (Metz/FRA), Moustapha Name (Paris FC/FRA), Loum Ndiaye (Alaves/ESP), Pape Gueye (Marseille/FRA), Joseph Lopy (Sochaux/FRA).
Forwards: Sadio Mané (Liverpool/ENG), Boulaye Dia (Villarreal/ESP), Ismaila Sarr (Watford/ENG), Famara Diedhiou (Alanyaspor/TUR), Habib Diallo (Strasbourg/FRA), Bamba Dieng (Marseille/FRA), Keita Balde Diao (Cagliari/ITA), Ismail Jakobs (Monaco/FRA), Famara Diédhiou (Alanyaspor/TUR)
Picture: Getty Images