Sadio Mane was chosen as the runner-up for the Ballon d’Or in Senegal Globalism The team cup led by coach Aliou Cisse on Friday, despite his recent injury.
Cisse, who captained Senegal at the 2002 World Cup, said he hoped the Bayern Munich striker’s condition would improve in a few weeks and declared he was “really optimistic” that the injury would not require surgery.
Mane’s participation in the tournament was in doubt after he limped off during Bayern Munich’s 6-1 win over Werder Bremen on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old has been diagnosed with an injury to his right fibula and will undergo further tests.
“I preferred to keep him in the group,” Cisse told reporters.
“Sadio Mane is an important player for our team, it’s important to continue to monitor his injury, hopefully in two or three weeks there will be progress. But we are really optimistic.
“We will give ourselves all the means necessary to allow Sadio Mane to recover.”
Mane’s fitness has been a major cause of concern in Senegal, the current African champions, with the country’s president Macky Sall tweeting on Wednesday: “Sadio, lion’s heart! All my heart is with you!”
Sissi admitted that the potential absence of the mascot would be a heavy blow to the continent.
“Losing Sadio Mane is not easy for the coach, the team or even for African football,” he said.
“We don’t want to think about it but inevitably we have to be ready if Sadio Mane is not there.
“At the moment, we still have time. I don’t want to talk about Sadio Mane’s absence even if, in the back of my head, I’m trying to prepare for it.”
Mane, who has scored 33 goals in 92 international matches, is joined in the squad by Abdou Diallo, another player who recently missed game time due to injury, as well as Everton midfielder Idrissa Gaye and Chelsea duo Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly.
Left-back Salio Cisse, who is not currently playing for a club, was omitted, with Fodé Palou Toure or Ismail Jacobs providing options on the left.
“I chose a team that can meet the requirements of this competition. We gained experience in 2018 and through our continental championships. We are going to Qatar, aware of our qualities and above all with high ambitions.”
Senegal was drawn in Group A and will play the opening match against host country Qatar on November 20, before meeting the Netherlands and Ecuador.
Goalkeepers: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea/England), Seni Deng (QPR/ENG), Alfred Gomis (Rennes/France)
Defenders: Youssef Sabali (Real Betis/Spain), Kalidou Coulibaly (Chelsea/England), Abdou Diallo (Leipzig/Germany), Papa Abou Sisi (Olympiacos/Greece), Formos Mendy (Amiens/France), Ismail Jacobs (Monaco/France) Foday Palo Toure (Milan/Italy)
Midfielders: Nambales Mendy (Leicester/England), Cheikhou Kouyat (Nottingham Forest/England), Baba Matar-Sari (Tottenham/England), Idrissa Gueye (Everton/England), Krepin Diata (Monaco/France), Esme Mustafa (Paphos/Cyprus) , Loum Ndiaye (Porto / Port), Papa Gui (Marseille / France), Pathé Seise (Rayo Vallecano / Spain)
Attackers: Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich/Germany), Boulay Dia (Salernitana/Italy), Nicholas Jackson (Villarreal/Spain), Bamba Dieng (Marseille/France), Elimane Ndiaye (Sheffield United/England), Ismaila Sarr (Watford/England), Famara Dideo (Alanyaspor/Tours)
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