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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Kalidou Koulibaly – Senegal’s finest named in Italy Team of the Year – 2018 FIFA World Cup

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Kalidou Koulibaly – Senegal's finest named in Italy Team of the Year

Kalidou Koulibaly, Napoli

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. 13:00


As he continues to help Italian Serie A giants Napoli to challenge for the Serie A title, Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly has been named in the Serie A Team of the Year.

Together with the likes of Juventus and former Azzurri goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon, the Lions of Teranga centre back has been included in the Best XI.

With Koulibaly’s excellent displays, Napoli have conceded nine goals and scored 35 as they lead the Serie A table with 38 points from 14 matches.

They are yet to lose this term and together with AS Roma, are the only two teams with a good defensive record after conceding less than 10 goals so far.

An inclusion in the team of the year comes as a massive boost for the 26-year-old defender who will hope to lead the side to glory come the end of the campaign.

Apart from Buffon, Koulibaly has been named in the Best XI with six Juve players teammates from last season such as Leonardo Bonucci, Alex Sandro, Dani Alves, Miralem Pjanic, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala.

Napoli has Koulibaly, Marek Hamsik and Dries Merten in the squad whilst Roma’s Radja Nainggolan completes the squad and Maurizio Sarri is named the Coach of The Year.

Fresh from a 1-0 win over Udinese last weekend, they will now turn their focus to the tie against Juventus on Friday, December 1 at home.

Manager Sarri will want to bag a win and will count on Kalidou and company to secure another clean sheet to consolidate their top spot.

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‘Devastating penalty miss helped Senegal’s Mane improve’ – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

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by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Nov 25, 2017. 14:00


Legendary Senegalese midfielder Salif Diao believes that Sadio Mane has improved since missing a crucial penalty against Cameroon earlier this year.

Mane inspired Senegal to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) quarter-finals where they faced Cameroon, who held them to a goalless draw and a penalty shootout followed.

Liverpool FC forward missed Senegal’s fifth penalty and eventual tournament winners Cameroon advanced to the semifinals, while the Lions of Teranga bowed of the competition in Gabon.

Diao, who played for English sides Liverpool, Stoke City and Birmingham City during his playing career, has stated that Mane, 25, has since gone to another level.

“These things happen in football and the most important thing is how you bounce back,” Diao told BBC Sport.

“It was a hard situation for him but sometimes at the top level, you need to get hurt before you grow.

“He has gone to another level since that episode,” Diao, who played 39 times fpr Senegal, added.

Mane recently played an instrumental role in helping Senegal qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals and he has also been nominated for the 2017 CAF African Player of the Year accolade.

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Senegal’s Sadio Mane labels Egypt’s Mohamed Salah an incredible player – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

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Senegal's Sadio Mane labels Egypt's Mohamed Salah an incredible player

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (R) celebrates with teammate Sadio Mane

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Nov 15, 2017. 18:00


Senegalese and Liverpool forward Sadio Mane says he enjoys playing alongside his Egyptian teammate Mohamed Salah in the English Premier League.

The Reds player says he expects more to come from the Pharaohs international as they continue to terrorise defenders in the EPL.

Salah, who joined the Premier League team from Serie A side AS Roma during the summer transfer window, has adapted quickly to life at Anfield Stadium under manager Jurgen Klopp.

He has netted 12 goals in just 17 games with the Reds in all competitions and the Lions of Teranga international has labelled him as incredible.

“Mo is a great lad and an incredible player,” Mane told Goal.com.

“It is good that he has settled in so easily and there is so much more still to come from him. We get on well and I enjoy playing with him, but that’s the same with everyone. We have a very exciting team and we all want to help the club be successful.

“It doesn’t matter to me which position I have to be in because I have played in all the attacking roles – right, left, as the No.10, second striker and No.9,” the 25-year-old adds.

“My job is the same wherever I am on the pitch – I have to always be an option, to be aggressive and direct, to be a defender too and to help us play quicker.”

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Kalidou Koulibaly – Senegal’s hope to stop a desperate South Africa – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Kalidou Koulibaly – Senegal's hope to stop a desperate South Africa

Kalidou Koulibaly, Napoli

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 07, 2017. 13:00


Senegal and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has a tough assignment this weekend, which is to stop South Africa as they want to secure a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The Lions of Teranga centre back has a huge role to play for the West Africans when they meet the 1996 African champions in two crucial encounters in less than five days.

Koulibaly will be a key figure when they visit the Southern part of the continent on Friday for their clash against Stuart Baxter’s men on Friday.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: ODION IGHALO – WILL THE INJURY COST HIM A PLACE IN THE WC SQUAD?

As they need a win to book a spot in Russia, their hosts will also want a win out of both encounters to return to the global stage.

With a lot of news surrounding the future of the defender, the Senegal coach will have to calm his nerves and ensure Kalidou remains grounded and focused on the task at hand.

Koulibaly is linked with a move away from the Serie A giants, with Barcelona, Chelsea and Liverpool touted to be chasing his signature.

Furthermore, the 2017 CAF African Footballer of the Year nomination comes as a huge boost for the 26-year-old and he will want to lift the coveted accolade.

But for that to happen, he must ensure he brings his A game in both matches against the 1996 African Cup of Nations hosts and help the Lions to emerge as victors.

With Sadio Mane available for the matches and the Reds coach Jurgen Klopp reportedly attending the match in person, Kalidou will only focus on his defending and not worry about their thin options in attack.

However, speculation regarding the move to Anfield could mount should he meet and have a chat with Klopp.

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Senegal’s Niasse joins Everton’s away fans at Old Trafford – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Sep 18, 2017. 16:00


Everton may have suffered a heavy defeat at Manchester United on Sunday, but their fans were still thrilled to be joined in the stands by Senegal striker Oumar Niasse.

The Teranga Lions attacker sat with the Toffees’ travelling support at Old Trafford and watched on as they were humbled by the Red Devils.

The 27-year-old striker has returned to the first-team fold with Everton, but did not make the cut for coach Ronald Koeman’s matchday squad.

He was quickly recognised by Everton fans at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ and posed for pictures. The attacker was also praised for his down-to-earth attitude.

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Senegal’s Souare delights on Crystal Palace return – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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Senegal's Souare delights on Crystal Palace return

Pape Souare playing for Crystal Palace

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Aug 31, 2017. 11:30


Following his return from a long-term injury, Senegal and Crystal Palace defender Pape Souare has expressed delight on his return to action.

The Lions of Teranga international has made his first appearance since breaking his thigh bone and jaw in a horrific car crash almost a year ago.

Souare had to be airlifted to hospital after crashing on the M4 in England in September 2016 and only returned to full training earlier this month.

The 27-year-old featured for the Eagles U23s and he played for 45 minutes as they lost 2-1 to Nottingham Forest.

Meanwhile, his fellow countrymen are set to face off against Burkina Faso in their third 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at home this weekend.

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Senegal’s Koulibaly on Arsenal’s radar – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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Senegal’s Koulibaly on Arsenal’s radar

Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Jul 18, 2017. 17:00


Napoli’s Senegalese centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly has emerged as a transfer target for Premier League giants Arsenal.

The Gunners are in the market for a central defender and TMW claims that the Teranga Lions man is top of their list.

Koulibaly, 26, has previously been linked with a move to Chelsea, but Antonio Conte’s side failed with several bids last year.

Arsenal have now made an approach but Napoli, for the moment at least, remain unwilling to sell their prize asset.

Should Arsenal not be able to land Koulibaly from the Serie A side, they may turn their attention to Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk.

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Bristol City sign Senegal’s Famara Diedhiou – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

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Bristol City sign Senegal's Famara Diedhiou

Famara Diedhiou has signed for Bristol City

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Jun 29, 2017. 17:30


Senegal international striker Famara Diedhiou has completed his switch to Bristol City as the club has broken their transfer record for £5.3m from French top flight club Angers.

Reports reveal that the 24-year-old has agreed a four-year deal with the English Football League side, with the club’s previous transfer record of £3.25m also paid to Angers for the services of striker Jonathan Kodjia in 2015.

Diedhiou netted a massive 22 goals in 37 games in 2015/16 season for the French second-tier side Clermont.

Following his exploits, he managed to secure a £1.36m move to Angers where he scored nine times in 36 appearances last season.

“I think he’s going to be a huge player for us. He’s powerful, he’s quick. Now is his time to shine,” Bristol coach Lee Johnson said to the club’s website.

Furthermore, CEO Mark Ashton added that Diedhiou has been scouted for a long time and his potential is set to benefit the club.

“It’s big business. He’s someone we’d identified a while ago as having real potential to fill the front man’s shoes,” said Ashton.

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