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Qatar 2022: Senegal Captain Talks Tough

Senegal captain and Chelsea defender Kalidou Koulibaly says the Teranga Lions are aiming to become the first African nation to win the World Cup, with the tournament in Qatar exactly a month away.

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 November 20 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 a good thing, 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.”

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