Before CAN 2023, Ismaila Sarr reveals a secret from Senegal: “We won when we stopped that”

Expected in Ivory Coast, Senegal continues its preparation for CAN 2023 in Dakar. Approached by RMC Sport, Ismaila Sarr, the twirling winger of OM and the Senegalese selection, confided his dreams of a double.

Senegal will put its African Cup of Nations trophy back into competition in a few days. From January 13 to February 11, the Lions of Teranga will compete in CAN 2023 as big favorites. In Group C alongside Cameroon, five times African champions, Guinea and Gambia, the Senegalese selection led by Aliou Cissé expects a difficult competition. But with stars such as Sadio Mané, Kalidou Koulibaly, Ismaila Sarr and the other Edouard Mendy, the possibility of achieving a double holds up.

While the gathering and preparations began in the Senegalese capital on December 30, the pressure is starting to mount. Whatever anyone says, the African champions know the immense pressure that exists at the CAN. Approached in this context by Florent Germain of RMC Sport , the Lion of Teranga, Ismaila Sarr, revealed his ambitions for the competition which is arriving at high speed.

“We are going to Ivory Coast to win”

In suitable conditions during preparation thanks to the colossal budget put in place by the State to ensure a great campaign, the Senegalese international since 2016 (56 matches for 11 goals) does not hide Senegal’s ambitions.

“  We’re not talking about arriving as the boss. We know that it is not easy to win a CAN. It’s a very difficult competition, we’re going there to win,” Ismaila Sarr immediately confided in a long interview with RMC Sport . “At the CAN, we can say that everyone is favorite. You can see Tanzania eliminating Senegal or other teams. It’s very complicated ,” he admitted immediately.

Sarr reveals the intimacy of the Senegal locker room

After discussing the strong colony of Marseille players at OM who will participate in the CAN 2023 and its status as a member of the selection, Ismaila Sarr highlighted some key changes within the group since the CAN won two years ago. Under the leadership of Aliou Cissé, Senegal players have abandoned habits that can lead to a drop in energy, notably loud music before and after matches, as noted by the former Watford player (2019-2023, 131 matches for 34 goals).

“  Before, we played a lot of music in the locker rooms and on the bus. We were dancing before the match. But now we’ve changed that. Since we changed that, we won the CAN (laughs), so we will continue on this path. At OM, there is a lot of atmosphere, we put on the music, but afterwards, we are ready to go to war, as I often say. But in the selection, we don’t play music, we stay focused, the coach didn’t want us to play music ,” said Sarr.

Before CAN 2023, Ismaila Sarr reveals a secret from Senegal: “We won when we stopped that”

“Now we don’t do it anymore”

“  We have changed. Before, when we won the first matches at the CAN or in other competitions, we went to see the supporters and we danced. Now we don’t do it anymore. We just do it when we win the competition, but in the group or in the quarter-finals, we don’t do it anymore,” continued the 25-year-old who wants to “relive moments like that every day”.

One thing is certain, Senegal will be closely followed in Ivory Coast. The younger brothers of El Hadji Diouf, who played a key role around the team, especially a few hours before the CAN 2021 final against Egypt, will have to fight very hard to achieve a major competition.

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