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Aliou Cisse says an African country could win the World Cup

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By Martin Graham | 27th Nov 2022

Teranga Lions coach Aliou Cisse has said that an African country could win the World Cup. He charged the five representatives at the tournament to have faith.

Up until Friday, it had been a terrible World Cup for Africa. The round of matches by African teams at the World Cup produced no wins, two draws and three losses. The first goals by the African representatives came through Ghana, but they lost 3-2 to Portugal. The performances by Africa in Qatar put a massive question mark on the quality of football from the continent.

Agitators for more slots at the World Cup would find it difficult to convince anybody that Africa merits more places at the table. The continent has not had any team reach the semi-finals of the Mundial. To fight for more slots, Africa has to convince the world that they have come of age.

Pele once said that one day Africa would rule the world. Many years after, the dream is yet to come to pass. The best showing by any African team is a quarter-final place and achieved by Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010). However, Senegal coach Aliou Cisse believes an African team could win the World Cup.

Aliou Cisse believes Africa can win the World Cup

Senegal walk a tightrope at the World Cup. The West African side won its first game on Friday with a 3-1 victory over hosts Qatar. The victory ensured that the participation of the hosts would not go beyond the group stage, as it was their second loss in the group stage. The Teranga Lions must now beat Ecuador to seal qualification to the round of 16.

Following the victory over Qatar, talks centred around Africa’s chances of winning the World Cup and Aliou Cisse did not back down from supporting teams from the continent. The Teranga Lions coach said African teams should be confident of going far at the tournament. He believes an African side could win the World Cup.

The African champions are struggling to cope without their talisman Sadio Mane. The Bayern Munich star missed the World Cup following an ankle injury in a Bundesliga game against Werder Bremen. Perhaps the loss to the Netherlands could be attributed to his absence, as Senegal could not take their chances against the Dutch side.

African teams need to have faith

Africa was written off as a contender for the World Cup when its representatives failed to win their opening games. Morocco and Tunisia drew with Croatia and Denmark. The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon were dominated by Switzerland, while Senegal lost to the Netherlands, and the Black Stars of Ghana fell to Portugal.

Despite the dismal performance in those games, Aliou Cisse has charged African teams have faith they can challenge the top nations. The Teranga Lions coach believes African teams at the World Cup have what it takes to challenge the best sides on the planet.

Cisse cited the upsetting wins by Japan and Saudi Arabia as examples of why they should have belief in themselves. The Asian sides beat Germany and Argentina.

Cisse said the surprises in Qatar show that the gap between the minnows and the top sides has narrowed. Aliou Cisse believes an African country can win the World Cup, but they need faith.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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