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

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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Drogba legacy helped me pick Chelsea – Bakayoko – African Football

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Sep 19, 2017. 11:00

The legacy of Ivorian Didier Drogba helped French midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko choose Chelsea as his new club.

The 23-year-old defensive midfielder played a major role in Monaco’s Ligue 1 title triumph last season and was wanted by several major teams across Europe.

Chelsea won the race to sign Bakayoko, paying Monaco a fee in the region of 拢40m in July.

And the French international has revealed that the Blues always had the advantage because of their former striker Didier Drogba.

Bakayoko explained to the Daily Mail: “Chelsea has always been a club I liked since I was young, especially because of guys like Didier Drogba being here.

“I would make a point of watching their games and I had this club close to my heart growing up, so I’m really happy to be wearing their shirt.

“I made the choice to come to Chelsea a lot because of the coach [Antonio Conte] and after speaking to him.

“And I spoke to the people around me and my family. It seemed like the best opportunity.”

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Serge Aurier: Sissoko’s presence has helped me fit in at Spurs – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Monday Sep 18, 2017. 13:00

The presence of former Toulouse teammate Moussa Sissoko has helped Serge Aurier settle in at Tottenham Hotspur, according to the Ivory Coast star.

The former Paris Saint-Germain right-back joined the London side in a big-money move at the end of the transfer window last month.

Aurier told SFR Sport: “My integration is good. I know some people including Moussa, with whom I played in Toulouse.

“It allows me to integrate myself as well as possible.

“I am very happy. It is a team with a very good mentality and guys who are super nice. I did not hurt to integrate.

“In the field, I immediately got my bearings. I am very happy to be in this locker room.”

The Elephants player made his Premier League debut this past weekend in Spurs’ 0-0 draw at home to Swansea City on Saturday afternoon.

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Victor Moses success helped convince Rudiger of Chelsea move – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford (R) challenges Chelsea’s Victor Moses

Graeme Jackson

Monday Jul 17, 2017. 14:30

The success and improvement Victor Moses enjoyed at Chelsea last season helped convince Antonio Rudiger to join the Premier League club.

The Nigerian was converted to a right wingback by Blues coach Antonio Conte and went on to enjoy his best season in English football, establishing himself as a key figure of a Premier League-winning side.

Rudiger, who joined Chelsea from Italian giants Roma earlier this month, explained that Conte’s ability to improve players like Moses was one of the reasons he agreed to join the London club.

“Of course, for me the biggest reason [to move to Chelsea] was the coach, Antonio Conte,” he told beIN Sports.

“He’s a fantastic Coach. He improved a lot of players, like last season Moses and [Marcos] Alonso.

“They had a great season and I that’s why I said I want to be a part of that.”

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