World Cup – Senegal, Morocco, Cameroon, Tunisia, Ghana: Can Africa lastly do it?

1990, 2002 and 2010. Thrice a staff from the African continent reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup. Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana, in that order, got here very shut, every time reaching additional time. It took a penalty from the Englishman Gary Lineker, a objective within the 94th minute from the Turkish Ilhan after which, above all, a hand on the road from Luis Suarez, a penalty on the bar from Asamoah Gyan earlier than a shootout on the deadly objective to shatter the goals of the continent on an impassable glass ceiling.

Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal, Ghana, Morocco: Will an African staff attain the semi-finals of the World Cup?

Credit score: Quentin Guichard

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Africa, like Oceania, has by no means reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 44 makes an attempt by 13 completely different international locations. In 2022, can the curse finish, 4 years after a World Cup by which no African staff had handed the primary spherical? Samuel Eto’o, who has change into president of the Cameroon Soccer Federation, forecasts a Morocco-Cameroon closing with qualification for the spherical of 16 of the 5 African nations concerned. Accustomed to extra and satisfied pan-African, the previous striker of the Indomitable Lions just isn’t probably the most credible of prophets however his insurance coverage says one thing concerning the new frame of mind that animates the continent in the case of going through one of the best groups on the planet.

Samuel Eto’o, president of the Cameroonian Federation

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Goal: “Carry the Cup”

African gamers now not harbor complexestestifies Babacar Diarra, journalist at BBC Africa. Earlier than, competing within the World Cup was sufficient to make them pleased. Right this moment, they go there to do one thing. For instance, gamers from Senegal now assume to go to Qatar to do higher than what they’ve achieved to this point.“Perceive then: go, not less than, to the semi-finals.”In viewers with Coach Aliou Cissé (…) We had very cordial and wealthy exchanges on the administration of the staff and particularly the preparation for the Qatar 2022 World Cup with the target of bringing the Cup again“, tweeted just a few days in the past Yankoba Diattara, Senegalese Minister of Sports activities.

Sadio Mané (Senegal)

Credit score: Getty Photos

Important probability of the African continent in Qatar, the Lions of Teranga had stable arguments to succeed in the semi-finals even when the unlucky withdrawal of Sadio Mané critically thwarts their plan.

Senegal has understood what has at all times been lacking from African choices: stability is requirednotes Claude Le Roy, former coach of Togo, Senegal, Ghana, Congo and Cameroon on the 1998 World Cup. This continent is filled with expertise. I remind you that three Africans completed high scorer within the Premier League in 2019 (word: Salah, Mané and Aubameyang). But when, as well as, in the present day, we belief a long-term coach like Aliou Cissé, if we give ourselves aims like going all the best way, then the glass ceiling will explode.

Lastly some stability

In place since 2015, Aliou Cissé has arrange an bold undertaking round government gamers. Right this moment, Senegal, which turned African champions in the beginning of the yr, revolves round an actual spine (Edouard Mendy – Kalidou Koulibaly – Idrissa Gueye) in the present day orphaned by Mané. “It is not a one-shot. Since 2015, it has been created piece by piece. It’s a steady formation, #1 on the African continent for 4 years and 18th within the FIFA rating.” “The Netherlands are favorites within the group, we can’t have any simple video games however we’ve got excessive ambitions for this World Cuptestified the Monegasque Ismail Jakobs final week. Something can occur in this type of match.

Walid Cheddira (Morocco)

Credit score: Getty Photos

With Mané, Senegal introduced themselves with a squad worthy of the 2 references within the subject: Côte d’Ivoire in 2014 with its procession of nice gamers (Kolo and Yaya Touré, Didier Zokora, Gervinho and, in fact, Didier Drogba) and the overwhelming Nigera of 1994 and 1998 led by its golden technology (Nwanko Kanu, Emmanuel Amunike, Jay-Jay Okocha, Sunday Oliseh, George Finidi, Taribo West), topped with success on the 1996 Atlanta Olympics however which consumed 9 coaches in 4 years. These two references, who’ve by no means reached the quarters, remind us how a lot expertise just isn’t the whole lot. “If Africans have so usually failed, it’s also for causes past their management. Arbitration has, for instance, fairly often served them effectively. I’m pondering of Cameroon within the Nineties or, extra just lately, in Ghana“, confides Claude Le Roy.

Stars and nice goalkeepers

Right this moment, Cameroon, which revolves round a trio in nice form Andre Onana – André-Franck Zambo Anguissa – Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting- and Morocco of the ghost Hakim Ziyech even have arguments to make. however it will likely be essential to get out of teams rather more raised than that of Senegal (Qatar, Netherlands, Ecuador). However Claude Le Roy believes in it: “Each time I’ve received a match, it is not as a result of I used to be one of the best coach however as a result of I had one of the best goalkeeper within the competitors, he explains. Nonetheless, in the present day, African goalkeepers have made monumental progress and are among the many world’s benchmarks. It’s a figuring out issue.

Edouard Mendy, voted greatest goalkeeper on the planet in 2021 after profitable the C1 with Chelsea, André Onana, Inter Milan goalkeeper and regarded by Eto’o as “one of many three greatest goalkeepers on the planet“, and Yassine Bounou, important to Sevilla FC, compete within the Champions League repeatedly. For this similar motive, a lot much less favorable dynamics and an not possible draw, Tunisia (within the group of France and Denmark) and the Ghana (Portugal, Uruguay, South Korea) appear to be on the again foot Africa will rely above all on Senegal, even with out Mané, and, to a lesser diploma, Cameroon and Morocco to discover nonetheless unknown lands.

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