Sadio Mane Reveals Man Behind Senegal's Motivation to Win Afcon

Sadio Mane Reveals Man Behind Senegal's Motivation to Win Afcon

Rene Otinga
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:55 PM
  • Senegal will have the chance to make amends for the disappointment of the 2019 AFCON final when they lost to Algeria
  • The Teranga Lions coach Aliou Cisse has come under criticism since taking charge of the national team in 2015
  • Sadio Mane says his team is determined to ease the pressure off their coach, by winning the competition

Sadio Mane says his Senegal teammates are determined to ease the pressure on their manager Aliou Cisse by winning the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Teranga Lions are in the final and will be looking to make amends from their disappointment in 2019 when they went all the way only to lose to Algeria in the final.

Senegal has been among the favourites to win the tournament before it even began, and they have lived up to expectations, thus far.

Sadio Mane Reveals Man Behind Senegal's Motivation to Win Afcon
Senegal have progressed to the AFCON final only three times in their history and Aliou Cisse has been part of all three. 2002 as captain, 2019 and 2021 as coach. Photo by Michael Steele.
Source: Getty Images

They began their campaign with a narrow 1-0 win over Zimbabwe followed by successive 0-0 draws against Guinea and Malawi in Group B which were enough to take them to the last 16.

Notably, the draws against teams expected to be routine for Senegal led to more media criticism of their manager.

It is in the knockout stages that Senegal turned up the style in terms of goals as they have bagged eight goals in their last three game in the run up to the final, with Sadio Mane heavily involved in that impressive run.

Mane on his coach Alliou Cisse

Speaking to BBC Sport Africa, Mane said his national team boss “deserved everything”.

"I believe this man [Aliou Cisse] deserves everything because he's the most criticised coach I've ever seen in my life, but he never gives up," Mane said.
"He trusts himself, he trusts the group. He has critics outside, but right here he is doing his job.
"Most importantly, we would like to win this for him and our country because he deserves it after everything he went through as a player for Senegal and now as the coach.

As a player, Cisse won 35 caps for Senegal and was captain for the team during the 2002 World Cup as they famously beat holders France in their opening group game.

Since taking charge of Senegal in 2015, he has led Senegal in 17 games at the Africa Cup of Nations, only losing to Cameroon and Algeria.

Egypt coach wants final moved by a day

Meanwhile, Sports Brief reported of how Egypt coach Diaa al-Sayed wants their AFCON final against Senegal pushed to Monday.

Egypt had to go to extra time for the third game in a row as they beat Cameroon via penalties to advance to the final.

Diaa al-Sayed believes his team should be given at least one more day to recover and prepare, since Senegal have had more than 48 hours to make preparations for the clash.

Rene Otinga photo
Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and