Durban – Sadio Mane, who missed out on the World Cup through injury, has sent a touching letter to his Senegalese teammates following their exit in Qatar.
The Lions of Teranga were on the wrong side of a 3-0 defeat at the hands of England on Sunday, exiting the competition in the round of 16.
Mane, who captained Senegal to the Africa Cup of Nations title in February had to show his support from the sidelines but has sent a heartfelt message to his teammates via his social media account.
“Dear brothers, you have fallen into arms. The people are very proud of your journey and you have put the balm in the hearts of Senegalese and all supporters by defending the national flag with dignity. Continue learning and good luck. We will go in search of more trophies," Mane posted on Instagram.
The west African team seemed to overcome the blow of losing Mane by qualifying from highly competitive group in Qatar.
However, the loss of Cheikhou Kouyate through injury and the suspension of Gana Idrissa Gueye ahead of a huge test like the Three Lions proved to be a step too far, as they were outclassed in front of a raucous Al Bayt crowd.
Senegal coach Aliou Cisse, although disappointed, was left beaming with pride as his team played an entertaining brand of football, filled with passion and bravery.
Cisse's team will reconvene in March next year, hopefully with Mane back, as they resume their 2023 Afcon qualification campaign.