Senegal World Cup 2022 squad: Aliou Cisse's final team – but Sadio Mane is missing
The Senegal World Cup 2022 squad has been announced - can the African nation replicate their exploits of 2002 and reach the quarter-finals in Qatar?
The Senegal World Cup 2022 squad will be without Sadio Mane, after the Bayern Munich star pulled out of the tournament with injury.
Senegal have been drawn into Group A at the Qatar World Cup, and will have to navigate past games against hosts Qatar, Ecuador and the Netherlands if they are to reach the knockout stages.
Africa's best team over the past 18 months head to Qatar possessing a solid, experienced core, with as many as six of their starting line-up potentially having previous World Cup experience from Russia 2018.
They have overcome a long-known mentality problem. They are no longer fazed when going a goal down, having overturned a first-leg defeat in the play-off against Egypt to progress on penalties with a deserved victory in Dakar. As for motivation, the pain of going out of the last World Cup on accumulated yellow cards - Japan reaching the knockouts instead via the fair play rule - should add a little extra.
Their defence is a major strength of the side, having conceded just twice en route to AFCON glory and a paltry five goals in eight World Cup qualifiers. Milan left-back Fode Ballo-Toure has quietly excelled, and Monaco's Ismail Jakobs has now declared for Senegal. Centre-backs Abdou Diallo and Kalidou Koulibaly are Champions League regulars, the latter for Chelsea in front of the superb Eduoard Mendy. And on the right, Youssof Sabaly of Real Betis is a fine deputy for Bayern Munich's Bouna Sarr, who has had knee surgery.
However, they do have an ever-changing midfield which can cause problems. Cheikhoiu Kouyate and Idrissa Gueye are past their peak, Pape Matar Sarr is yet to reach his, and Nampalys Mendy arguably never had one.
Senegal World Cup 2022 squad
Senegal World Cup 2022 squad: The final 26-man team
- GK: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea)
- GK: Alfred Gomis (Rennes)
- GK: Seny Dieng (QPR)
- DF: Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea)
- DF: Pape Abou Cisse (Olympiacos)
- DF: Fode Ballo-Toure (AC Milan)
- DF: Ismail Jakobs (Monaco)
- DF: Formose Mendy (Amiens)
- DF: Abdou Diallo (RB Leipzig)
- DF: Youssouf Sabaly (Real Betis)
- MF: Idrissa Gueye (Everton)
- MF: Pathe Ciss (Rayo Vallecano)
- MF: Cheikhou Kouyate (Nottingham Forest)
- MF: Pape Gueye (Marseille)
- MF: Krepin Diatta (Monaco)
- MF: Nampalys Mendy (Leicester City)
- MF: Pape Matar Sarr (Tottenham)
- MF: Mamadou Loum (Reading)
- MF: Moustapha Name (Pafos)
- FW: Boulaye Dia (Salernitana)
- FW: Bamba Dieng (Marseille)
- FW: Ismaila Sarr (Watford)
- FW: Iliman Ndiaye (Sheffield United)
- FW: Famara Diedhiou (Alanyaspor)
- FW: Nicolas Jackson (Villarreal)
Senegal top scorers
1 goal: Bamba Dieng, Famara Diedhiou, Boulaye Dia, Kalidou Koulibaly, Ismaila Sarr
Senegal yellow cards
2 yellows: Idrissa Gana Gueye
1 yellow card: Nampalys Mendy, Boulaye Dia, Ismail Jakobs, Pathe Ciss
Who is Senegal's manager for the 2022 World Cup?
Calm dignity, as opposed to tactical wizardry, has earned Aliou Cisse the respect of his players and the Senegalese FA alike - few African nations stick with a coach for seven years. The former Birmingham and Portsmouth midfielder brought his country their first AFCON title earlier this year; now they're expected to spearhead Africa's charge in Qatar.
How many players are Senegal allowed to take to the 2022 World Cup?
National managers were allowed to bring 26 players to last summer’s European Championship for the first time at a major tournament, as a special measure brought in due to the COVID-19 pandemic – while last year's Copa America allowed squads of 28 players.
Now it has been announced that 26-player squads will return for the Qatar World Cup, an expansion from the usual 23-man teams.
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Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).
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