Defending champions Senegal aim to repeat success in AFCON 2023: Sadio Mane

Mahmoud Elassal , Monday 1 Jan 2024

Senegal captain Sadio Mane said on Monday that his team is prepared to defend their title as they embark on their campaign in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023.

Senegal captain Sadio Mane. AFP


Mane, who plays for Saudi Arabia's Al-Nasr, provided a pivotal role in Senegal's triumph in AFCON 2021, scoring the winning penalty for in their shootout win 4-2 against Egypt after a scoreless draw.

"Winning the AFCON was the most significant trophy of my life, and attempting to achieve it once more would be both special and a tremendous accomplishment," Mane stated, as quoted on CAF online.

"Participating in this competition has been a lifelong dream, and we will give our utmost effort," he added.

Senegal finds themselves in a challenging group alongside teams such as Cameroon, Guinea, and Gambia in Group C.

"We understand that it won't be an easy task, but we will be there to give our best and strive to advance through each round," Mane affirmed.

The AFCON 2023 finals are scheduled to be held in Cote d'Ivoire from 13 January to 11 February 2024.

"We anticipate a fierce competition. This tournament will be one of the toughest since I began playing, as all the major nations are present with their respective objectives. However, we shall see what unfolds," the skipper expressed.

Senegal's campaign will commence on 15 January against Gambia, followed by the ultimate clash of the Lions as they face the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon three days later.

Making their 17th appearance in the Africa Cup of Nations, Senegal conclude their Group C campaign against Guinea on 23 January.

"Winning the AFCON would make a significant impact on our football, as we have triumphed in all other categories, which is a remarkable achievement for our country," Mane concluded.

The 31-year-old, Mane was named Player of the AFCON 2021, while his teammate Edouard Mendy won the Best Keeper Award.

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