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Senegal 2002 World Cup Squad: Where are They Now?

When Senegal qualified for the 2002 World Cup they were drawn in Group A alongside Denmark, 2018 champions France and Uruguay.

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Being their first world cup, no one expected much from the West African nation and many predicted they would finish at the bottom of the group.

Senegal played in the opening game against France, one of the favourites and was expected to win with ease.

The match turned out otherwise and is ranked among one of the biggest World Cup shocks ever. The Lions of Teranga beat France 1-0. The winning and only goal was scored by Papa Diop in the 30th minute.

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Senegal went on to draw in their next two group games and eventually qualified for the knockout stage.

In the round of 16 games, Senegal beat 2-1 at extra time taking them to the quarter finals where they played against Turkey. They became the second African country to do so and joined Cameroon who did so in 1990.

Sadly the fairy tale ended when Turkey won 1-0 thanks to a goal by Lhan Mansiz.

What happened to the legendary young squad that made it to the quarter-finals on their debut appearance?

Here are some of the players:

Tony Sylva

Senegal
PHOTO/Courtesy

At the time of the tournament, Tony was Monaco’s long-term reserve. He eventually left the club in 2004 after 11 years

He then moved to Lille and became first choice Keeper, playing 163 games over a four-year spell before moving to Turkish side Trabzonspor. Tony spent two seasons at the club and decided to hang his gloves in 2010

Omar Daf

PHOTO/Courtesy

Omar had a solid career before and after the 2002 World Cup. The majority of his career was at  Sochaux. He made 185 league appearances from 1997-2009 before moving to Brest.

He was head coach of Ligue 2 side Dijon from June 2022, having previously been assistant manager of the national side and taken charge of his former club, Sochaux.

Earlier this year, Omar led the Young Teranga Lions to win their first-ever AFCON title.

SC Amiens appointed Omar Daf last month as the head coach of the Picard club.

Ferdinand Coly

PHOTO/Courtesy

The right-back played at every game of the tournament. After the world cup ended, he played one game for Lens and was sent back to France by the end of the 2002-03 season.

He then moved to Italy for the 2003-04 season with Serie A side Perugia. After the club were relegated to Serie B and then demoted again to Serie C in 2004, he impressed heavily and was rewarded with a move to Parma in 2005. He retired at the end of his contract in 2008

He remains a vocal commentator on Senegalese football.

Aliou Cisse

Aliou Cisse (right) PHOTO/Courtesy

Cisse captained the side to the quarter-finals and his performances earned him a move from Montpellier to Premier League side Birmingham City. He got off to a truly outstanding start…by being sent off on his début.

Read also: AFCON 2023: Nigeria qualify, Ghana stumble & Gabon lose

He was impressive in his first season but fell out with manager Steve Bruce during the 03-04 pre-season, eventually leaving for Portsmouth for the start of the 2004-05 season. After only three games in his second season, Cisse moved back to France to play for Sedan before moving to Ligue 2 side Nimes, retiring at the end of the 2008-09 season.

After retirement, Cisse moved into coaching. His first job was as an assistant coach at CS Louhans-Cuiseaux, leaving in January 2012 to take the same role with Senegal which he maintains up to date.

Lamine Diatta

Lamine Diate (right) PHOTO/Courtesy

Injuries affected the latter part of his career, although he did represent the likes of Olympique Lyonnais and Newcastle United after his World Cup heroics.

He’s currently working as part of Cisse’s international setup, as Senegal’s Team Manager and Coordinator.

Papa Diop

PHOTO/Courtesy

He went on to become an FA Cup winner at Portsmouth under Harry Redknapp and also played for Fulham in the Premier League.

He passed away in 2020, following a battle with motor neurone disease, having retired in 2013.

Moussa N’Diaye

PHOTO/Courtesy

Remained in French football till 2007, when he departed Auxerre for a spell in Qatar.

He later returned to play in his homeland and hung up his boots in 2017.

Makhtar N’Diaye

PHOTO/Courtesy

He dropped out of the game in 2007, having played three matches for Scottish giants Rangers, although later attempted a comeback in the French lower leagues with La Vitreenne.

His coaching career is yet to truly take off

Alassane Ndour

PHOTO/Courtesy

Didn’t truly impress in English football with West Bromwich Albion or Walsall, and he promptly faded from view.

He never played for Senegal after 2002, but has since worked for Caf in an ambassadorial capacity.

Henri Camara

PHOTO/Courtesy

Featured in English football for the likes of West Ham United, Wolvers, Southampton and Wigan Athletic after his World Cup exploits, he was playing as recently as 2018—well into his 40s.

His last club was the Greek side AP Fostiras after which he decided to retire in 2018.

Amara Traore

PHOTO/Courtesy

Amara managed Senegal after retirement overseeing the national side from 2009 to 2012 but was dismissed after failing to qualify for the Nations Cup in Mali.

He has later taken up coaching roles with AS Kaloum in Guinea, Senegalese heavyweights Diaraf, and is currently president of local football club ASC Linguere.

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