AFCON 2023: ‘One of the toughest’

Edwin  - CEO January 1, 2024
Updated 2024/01/01 at 1:47 PM
3 Min Read
Sadio Mane: Then and now
Sadio Mane: Then and now

Senegal expects problematic competition as all the big names have qualified-Sadio Mane



Senegal captain and talisman Sadio Mane believes that the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d’Ivoire 2023, will be the toughest compared to previous editions.


The Teranga Lions skipper spoke to CAFOnline on the nation’s chances of defending the title and what such a feat would mean to him and the nation.


Senegal is pitted in what many have deemed as the group of death where they will be up against Cameroon, Guinea, and The Gambia in Group C.


He shared his views on their tough group and the rest of the competition. Mane said the team expected a challenging competition as all the big African nations had qualified for the Cote d’Ivoire edition and would all aim to do well.


“We know it won’t be easy, but we will be there to do our best and try to go through every round. We are expecting a tough competition. This competition will be one of the strongest since I started playing in it because all the big countries are here, and have their targets, but we will see what will happen”, said the skipper.


Asked what it would mean for him personally to lift the title in succession, the 31-year-old star said it would be a remarkable achievement as the TotalEnergies AFCON trophy remains one of the best trophies he has won in his glittering career.


“Firstly, winning the AFCON was the best trophy I have ever won, and coming to do it again will be a special and big achievement. I have dreamed of playing in this competition since I was a kid, and we will do our best. Winning the AFCON will have a big impact on our football because we have won all the other categories, which is great for the country,” concluded Mane.


Senegal kicked off their title defense against The Gambia on Monday, 15 January, before the ultimate clash of the Lions when they faced the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon three days later.


They conclude their Group C campaign against Guinea on Wednesday, 23 January.


All their matches will occur at the Stade Charles Konan Banny Stadium in Yamoussoukro, which will also play host to a Round of 16 and quarter-finals of the competition.




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