Côte d’Ivoire will be the best in history - says Senegal captain as champions arrive


Reigning champions of the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Senegal arrived in Cote d'Ivoire to defend their title, insisting that the 2023 edition of the tournament will be the best in history.

The Lions of Teranga touched down in Yamoussoukro, their base for their Group C matches admitting that they will face a tougher challenge to retain their title because of the presence of the top teams.

Senegal are drawn in one of the toughest groups of the competition consisting of five-time winners, Cameroon, The Gambia as well as Guinea who will all pose a serious threat for the champions. 

The Teranga Lions are without a doubt one of the strong title contenders as the reigning champions who have made it to two consecutive TotalEnergies CAF AFCON finals (2019, 2021).

Speaking to CAFOnline.com from the team’s base camp, Kalidou Koulibaly said this would be one of the best TotalEnergies CAF AFCON tournaments as all strong African nations had qualified to be in Cote d’Ivoire. 

“I think that the Côte d’Ivoire edition will be the best in history of the competition because all the big teams are present and are fully prepared. It will show the true image of African football, and I think that whoever wins the title in the end will deserve it.”

The Senegal skipper went on to urge his nation to keep the team in their prayers as they prepare to defend the title against the best African teams on the continent over the next few weeks.

“I ask the Senegalese fans to be behind us during the competition and to pray for us in their prayers. Their support we will take us far in the competition, and we will represent them well and give them a big gift in the end.”

Senegal kick off their title defense on 15 January against Gambia before facing the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in a battle of the lions three days later on the 18th before concluding their group campaign against Guinea on 23 January.