Feb
08
2008
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Senegal – Rebuild The Side

REBUILD THE SIDE
So what does the future hold for the team that once looked like dominating African football for the next decade?
With the team reaching the end of its shelf life as the players reach the 30 mark, it is clear that the team’s best days are behind it. The charismatic El Hadji Diouf, the enterprising Henri Camara and the powerful Papa Bouba Diop now play second fiddle to the all powerful Cote d’lvoire team and Ghana. The way forward is deemed to rebuild the side but such an outstanding generation of players only comes together rarely and the new crop of Senegalese players is unlikely to reach the heights of the 2002 team.
Recently El Hadji Diouf was said to have announced his retirement from the national team in a fit of anger at how the Federation Senegalaise de Football (FSF) was running the game and the national side. Within a month however, he had announced his availability once again, claiming that he had not actually left but was threatening to do so if things did not change.
Kalilou Fadiga, once the fulcrum of the team, has seen his career nosedive after the discovery of a heart condition and the subsequent inability to rediscover the form that once made him one of the hottest properties in world football.
Under the wing of the highly respected Polish coach, Henri Kasperczak, it remains to be seen if he can eke out one more strong challenge from the generation of players who made their mark in the CAN in Ghana as far back as 2000 and who, with a bit more focus, could have gone on to dominate the African and world game. Maybe with the passage of time they will rediscover the drive and ambition once again to take Senegal to the summit of world football.