Official: Mané will play the World Cup!
The Bayern striker enters Senegal’s 26-man list even though he is injured. Pressure from the government made Aliou Cissé include the captain.
Sadio Mané's fitness was one of the big concerns ahead of Monday’s deadline for World Cup squad lists to be submitted to FIFA. In the end, it has all ended well as the Senegal captain was finally included in the list of 26 summoned for 2022 Qatar. The Bayern Munich striker, who was forced out of the weekend league match against Werder Bremen after just 20 minutes, has been called up by coach Aliou Cissé although it is unknown if he will be able to play the first two games. According to French media, Mané suffered a knee injury that put his presence at the World Cup in doubt. However, given his importance, he will travel with the squad and complete his recovery in Qatar.
The last few hours were dramatic for the Bayern star. Medical tests predicted the worst. After a successful year in which Senegal won the Africa Cup of Nations and booked their place at the World Cup by taking down Mohamed Salah’s Egypt, Mané's presence in Qatar suddenly seemed complicated. His eventual inclusion was celebrated in style in his homeland, where he is an idol and the team’s reference in attack.
In addition to Mané, Senegal has a top-level team with big-name stars in all positions including goalkeeper Edouard Mendy (Chelsea), central defender Koulibaly (Chelsea), midfielder Gueye (Everton) and winger Ismaila Sarr (Watford) . The Senegalese landed in Group A along with Qatar, Ecuador and the Netherlands. An evenly balanced group in which they hope to pass the group phase. With Mané, even if it’s missing a game, everything will be easier.
Senegal squad: Seny Dieng (Queens Park Rangers), Alfred Gomis (Rennes), Edouard Mendy (Chelsea); Fode Ballo-Toure (AC Milan), Pape Abou Cisse (Olympiacos), Abdou Diallo (RB Leipzig), Ismail Jakobs (Monaco), Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea), Formose Mendy (Amiens), Youssouf Sabaly (Real Betis); Pathé Ciss (Rayo Vallecano), Krepin Diatta (Monaco), Idrissa Gueye (Everton), Pape Gueye (Marseille), Cheikhou Kouyate (Nottingham Forest), Mamadou Loum (Reading), Nampalys Mendy (Leicester City), Moustapha Name (Pafos), Pape Matar Sarr (Tottenham); Boulaye Dia (Salernitana), Famara Diedhiou (Alanyaspor), Bamba Dieng (Marseille), Nicolas Jackson (Villarreal), Sadio Mané (Bayern Munich), Iliman Ndiaye (Sheffield United), Ismaila Sarr (Watford).