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AFCON 2019: Profile of Senegal national team

By Vincent Ashitey
Profile: Senegal national team
Profile: Senegal national team

Senegal is in Group C of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations which will be hosted by Egypt. Algeria, Kenya and Tanzania are the other teams in the group.

The Senegal national football team, nicknamed the Lions of Teranga, is controlled by the Senegalese Football Federation (FSF).

Senegal gained its independence from France on 4 April 1960, and the Senegalese Football Federation (FSF) was founded that year. The first Senegal match took place on 31 December 1961 against Dahomey (current Benin) losing 3–2. The country is from the West Africa continent and plays its home matches at the 60,000 capacity Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor.

The Senegalese Football Federation (FSF) has been affiliated with FIFA since 1962 and has been a member of the Confederation of African Football since 1963.

Senegal's first appearance in the Africa Cup of Nations was in 1965, where they finished second in their group, and lost 1–0 to Ivory Coast to finish in fourth place.

The team have been regular competitors in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying 15 times, where their best performance was runner-up to Cameroon in the 2002 edition in Mali.

In that same year, Senegal took part at the FIFA World Cup for the first time and reached the quarter-finals, having defeated reigning champions France in the opening game.

The team made their second World Cup appearance 16 years later, earning four points, being eliminated in the group stage against Japan based on fair play points.

The head coach of the national team is former player Alou Cisse who took over the ruins from Alain Giresse in 2015.

He briefly took charge of the team following Amara Traore's sacking, in a caretaker role in 2012. He was also the assistant coach of the U-23 side from 2012 to 2013, before becoming the head coach from 2013-2015.

The Teranga Lions most capped player and all-time top scorer is retired Henri Camara, registering 29 goals in 99 appearances.

Senegal boasts of star names like skipper Sadio Mane, Kalidou Koulibaly, Idrissa Gueye among others.  

Sadio Mane is the 9th most capped Senegalese player and has notched 16 goals in appearances. 

Koulibaly plies his trade for Napoli in the Italian Seria A and he is being chased by a host of clubs which include Manchester United and Real Madrid. 

Senegal is currently ranked 24th in the World and 1st in Africa, with its lowest ranking coming on June 13 being placed 99th whilst achieving their highest on November 2017 occupying the 23rd position.

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