AFCON champions Senegal arrive in Cote d'Ivoire, poised to make history

Mahmoud Elassal , Thursday 11 Jan 2024

Reigning Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title holders Senegal touched down in Côte d'Ivoire on Thursday, setting the stage for what promises to be an unforgettable edition of the tournament in 2023.

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The Lions of Teranga, who are considered strong contenders for the coveted title, find themselves drawn in Group C alongside the formidable Cameroon, Gambia, and Guinea, making for an intense competition.

Expressing his unwavering confidence, defender Kalidou Koulibaly, who plies his trade for Saudi side Al-Hilal, emphasized that Senegal has set their sights on reaching the AFCON final for the third time, following their successful campaigns in the 2019 and 2021 editions.

"I believe that the Côte d'Ivoire edition will go down in history as the greatest in the competition," Koulibaly remarked in an interview with CAF online on Thursday.

"With all the prominent teams present and fully prepared, it will showcase the true essence of African football. The eventual titleholder will undoubtedly be deserving of the honour," he added.

The captain of the Senegal national team appealed to his compatriots for unwavering support and prayers as they brace themselves for the challenge that lies ahead, facing the best African teams in the coming weeks.

"I implore the Senegalese fans to rally behind us throughout the competition and keep us in their prayers. Their unwavering support will propel us forward, and we will represent them admirably, ultimately offering them a remarkable triumph," Koulibaly expressed.

Senegal will commence their title defence on 15 January against Gambia, followed by a highly anticipated clash with the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon on the 18th, in what promises to be a fierce battle of the lions.

They will conclude their group stage campaign against Guinea on 23 January, as they aim to cement their status as the continent's premier footballing nation.

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