As per Senegal forward Sadio Mane, the AFCON competition in Cote d’Ivoire which is just about beginning this month (January 2024) will be one of the toughest competitions.
The Senegal skipper, Sadio Mane believes that the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Countries, Cote d’Ivoire 2023 will be more difficult for all participating teams compared with past editions.
The Teranga Lions captain expressed this in an interview with CAF on the countries’ possibilities defending the title and what such an accomplishment would mean to him and the country.
Senegal are put in what many have considered as the group of death where they will be facing Cameroon, Guinea and The Gambia in Group C.
Sharing his perspectives on their tough group and the other oppositions, Mane said the group was expecting a difficult rivalry as every one of the big African countries had qualified for the Cote d’Ivoire edition and would all aim to do very well.
“We know it won’t be easy but we will be there to do our best and try to go through every round. We are expecting a tough competition. This competition will be one of the strongest since I started playing in it because all the big countries are here and they all have their targets, but we will see what will happen”, said the skipper.
Asked about what might affect him by and by to lift the title in progression, the 31-year-old star said it would be an exceptional accomplishment as the TotalEnergies AFCON prize remains one of the best trophies he has won in his glittering career.
“Firstly, winning the AFCON was the best trophy I have ever won in my life and coming to do it again will be special and a big achievement. It’s been a dream to play in this competition since I was a kid and we will do our best. Winning the AFCON will be a big impact for our football because we have won all the other categories which is great for the country” concluded Mane.
Senegal start off their title defending against The Gambia on Monday, 15 January before a definitive game against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon three days after the fact.
They will end their Group C campaign against Guinea on Wednesday, 23 January.
All their matches will come off at the Stade Charles Konan Banny stadium in Yamoussoukro which will also play host to the round of 16 and quarter-finals of the competition.