Former Senegal worldwide El Hadji Diouf has backed Teranga Lions star Sadio Mane to take care of the frustration of being dominated out of the World Cup finals.
Mane, a key player for the West Africans who was runner-up on this year’s Ballon d’Or, will not function in Qatar after having an operation on a leg injury.
“We are all sad because we would love to see Sadio playing this World Cup and Sadio was doing everything to get ready for this World Cup,” said Diouf, a two-time African Footballer of the Year.
“All big players want to shine in the World Cup but things can happen. We are going to work without him and we’re going to do everything to make him proud.
“I think Sadio’s going to be stronger when he comes back.”
African champions Senegal play their first Group A game against the Netherlands on Monday, with matches against hosts Qatar (25 November) and Ecuador (29 November) to observe.
Diouf, who was a part of the Senegal squad which reached the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup, continues to be optimistic in regards to the facet’s chances of progressing to the knock-out levels with out Mane.
“Our first objective is to pass the first round and after the first round we’re going to talk again together to see what we can do,” the 41-year-old, who’s in Doha as Senegal’s staff ambassador, added.
“I know some teams don’t want to play Senegal because we have a good team [with] experienced players.”
Former Liverpool forward Diouf says he talks to Mane “every day” and thinks the Bayern player might but journey to Qatar as soon as he has recovered from his operation to supply his help in individual.
“Before we play, he is going to call his team-mates and talk to them,” Diouf said. “Why not come to be with them?”
The news Mane would miss the World Cup was greeted with sorrow in Senegal, with newspaper Stades operating the headline ‘Senegal cries as Mane is ruled out’ in Friday’s version and fellow day by day Record saying African football is in “shock”.
The country’s President Macky Sall was amongst these to supply their help to Mane on social media.
Je souhaite immediate rétablissement à Sadio Mané après son forfait définitif pour le mondial #Qatar2022 . Bon braveness Ñañthio. La santé avant tout. Tu reviendras encore plus fort !
— Macky Sall (@Macky_Sall) November 17, 2022
“I wish a speedy recovery to Sadio Mane after his withdrawal from the [World Cup]. Health before all. You will come back even stronger!” Sall tweeted.
Senegal midfielder Mamadou Loum N’diaye said the squad will “give it all for Sadio and the Senegalese people” whereas third-alternative goalkeeper Alfred Gomis said the squad remained united on Instagram.
“Big things aren’t done by one person but by a whole group. To realise huge feats, we need a team of brothers,” he posted.
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