• World Cup 2022

Senegal ready to challenge Netherlands without Mane, Cisse insists

Aliou Cisse
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The Senegal forward is one of the most notable absentees from the Qatar World Cup.

Senegal manager Aliou Cisse has opened up on the challenge of playing the World Cup without Sadio Mane.

The Black Stars were rocked by the news of Mane’s injury a week before the World Cup. Despite the initial optimism toward his fitness issue, Mane had to go under the knife and end his dreams of playing in the Qatar tournament.

Aliou Cisse’s side take on Netherlands in a crucial World Cup opener on Sunday. But the Senegal boss insists his side won’t give up without a fight.

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“Obviously, it’s a great shame for Sadio and the team, but we have to think of the player’s well-being,” he told reporters on Saturday.

“It’s a great challenge as all coaches build their team around the best player and that’s the case for us.

B “ut we have a strong team with experienced players and young players who are ready to rise to this challenge. I am sure we have a strong enough team. It’s not easy to play without a player like Sadio and we have a strong opponent in the Netherlands, but the players are ready.”

Following their match against Netherlands, Senegal will take on Qatar in their next World Cup game on Friday.