After sealing their qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Senegal are hoping for another captivating campaign following a quarterfinal finish in their maiden participation in 2002.
Senegal president Macky Sall told reporters while receiving the World Cup trophy days ago that his government would provide all what the national team needs to be able to succeed in Russia.
Four friendly matches have been lined up for the Teranga Lions’ preparations. They will face Uzbekistan in Morocco on March 23 before taking on Bosnia and Herzegovina four days later in France.
On May 31, Senegal will play Luxembourg on a venue yet to be announced, and then Croatia in Zagreb on June 8.
According to Senegal FA, officials are on the lookout for an Asian opposition for a final friendly match on June 12, due to the presence of Japan in their group.
“Senegal team will spend much of their camping in the town of Vittel (north) in France before heading for Russia,” FA president Augustin Senghor said on Tuesday.
“We had to take this decision considering the hot weather in Senegal in June and also the current poor state of our main stadium, Leopold-Sedar-Senghor, in Dakar.”
At the 2018 World Cup, the Lions will open their campaign against Poland on June 19 before subsequently locking horns with Colombia and Japan in Group H.
At the 2002 World Cup, Senegal pulled off a shock after stunning then defending champions France 1-0 in their opening match. Would the current generation draw an inspiration from that exploit? Coach Aliou Cisse thinks it’s not necessary.
“We need to focus on what we are doing because every match is going to be tough. Because you won 16 years ago doesn’t mean you could win again tomorrow,” he said.
“It takes hard work, that’s all.”