Football academies supply Senegal's den

Sadio Mane 1

For the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations which will take place from January 9 to February 6 in Cameroon, former residents of academies based in Senegal including Diambars and Generation Foot occupy a prominent place in Senegal team who will play in group B alongside Guinea, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Of the 27 called up by coach Aliou Cissé, eight players were trained by these two academies founded in the early 2000s, which corresponds to just over a quarter of those selected.

With Sadio Mané (Liverpool, England) as technical leader, Generation Foot academy, launched in 2000, can claim to have placed four of its former residents in Senegal team.

Ismaila Sarr of Senegal challenged by Eric Ouma of Kenya during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations match between Kenya and Senegal at the 30 June Stadium, Cairo on the 01 July 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

In addition to the Liverpool striker, we note the presence of Watford (England) striker Ismaila Sarr, Strasbourg (France) striker Habib Diallo and FC Metz (France) midfielder Pape Matar Sarr.

The latter was transferred to Tottenham (England) who loaned him to Grenats of France. He played the TotalEnergies U17 AFCON in 2019 in Tanzania and the World Cup the same year in Brazil.

The Diambars Academy, founded in 2003, also has four footballers in the squad announced last Friday by Aliou Cissé.

They are Idrissa Gana Gueye (PSG, France), Saliou Ciss (Nancy, France), Joseph Lopy (FC Sochaux, France) and Ahmadou Bamba Dieng (Marseille, France).

Since the launch of the league in 2009, the two clubs of Generation Foot and Diambars have won respectively two (2016 and 2018) and a title of champion of Senegal (2013).

He was neither a resident of Generation Foot nor of Diambars but Ibrahima Mbaye (Bologna, Italy) who will play his first AFCON, was trained in an academy called Etoile de Lusitana, a training center less famous than the first two mentioned.

Ismaila Sarr of Senegal celebrates goal with Aliou Cisse, head coach of Senegal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations match between Kenya and Senegal at the 30 June Stadium, Cairo on the 01 July 2019

Goalkeepers (3): Edouard Mendy (Chelsea/ENG), Alfred Gomis (Stade Rennais/FRA), Seny Dieng (QPR/ENG)

Defenders (9): Kalidou Koulibaly (Naples/ITA), Ibrahima Mbaye (Bologne/ITA), Bouna Sarr (Bayern Munich/GER), Cheikhou Kouyaté (Crystal Palace/ENG), Abdou Diallo (PSG/FRA), Abdoulaye Seck (Royal Antwerp/BEL), Fodé Ballo Touré (AC Milan/ITA), Saliou Ciss (Nancy/FRA), Pape Abou Cissé (Olympiakos/GRE)

Midfielders (7): Idrissa Gana Gueye (PSG/FRA), Nampalys Mendy (Leicester/ENG), Pape Matar Sarr (Metz/FRA), Moustapha Name (Paris FC/FRA), Mamadou Loum N’diaye (Deportivo Alavés/ESP), Pape Gueye (Marseille/FRA), Joseph Lopy (Sochaux/FRA)

Forwards (8): Sadio Mané (Liverpool/ENG), Boulaye Dia (Villarreal/ESP), Ismaïla Sarr (Watford/ENG), Habib Diallo (Strasbourg/FRA), Bamba Dieng (Marseille/FRA), Keita Balde Diao (Cagliari/ITA), Mame Baba Thiam (Kayserispor/TUR), Famara Diédhiou (Alanyaspor/TUR)