Senegal Can Deliver 2022 World Cup –Koulibaly
Senegal captain and Chelsea defender Kalidou Koulibaly believe his team has what it takes to win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
In an interview with BBC Sport Africa, Koulibaly said that Senegal can lead Africa’s quest of lifting the title.
Recall that no side from the continent has ever made it past the quarter-finals, with Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and most recently Ghana (2010) knocked out in the last eight – all after extra time or penalties.
This year’s finals start on 20 November when the hosts face Ecuador in Group A, with Senegal beginning their campaign, in the same pool, against the Netherlands the following day.
Koulibaly, who plays regularly in the Premier League, believes Africa’s representatives need to think bigger than just reaching the knock-out phase.
“African nations are lacking self-esteem and self-awareness that they can really win a World Cup,” the 31-year-old told BBC Sport Africa.
“We consider that going past the group stage is good, but we should set higher goals for ourselves.
“I don’t think that the French team or the English team are happy with going through the group stages – they want to go further.
“We should have the same mindset. That’s what I am trying to bring to Senegal.
“I think it’s time that an African country delivers and wins the World Cup, because we are a very talented continent. We have great players.”
Style of play
A large, aggressive, quick and physically strong yet elegant player, Koulibaly is recognised for his aerial prowess, anticipation, positioning, tackling, character, technique and passing ability as a defender. He has also been praised by pundits for his overall solidity as a player and his ability to make interceptions; however, he has also drawn criticism for giving away too many fouls. Due to his versatility, he can play both in his usual role as a central defender, or as a full-back on either the right or left flank, in both a three or four-man defence; he has even been deployed as a defensive midfielder. During his time at Napoli, his ability to play the ball out from the back saw him function as a ball-playing centre-back in manager Maurizio Sarri‘s attacking, possession based-system