Senegal captain Kalidou Koulibaly expects Sadio Mane to join the rest of the squad during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar despite being ruled out of the campaign through injury.
The Bayern Munich forward picked a knee injury during the German giants’ 6-1 demolition of Weder Bremen in Bundesliga over a week ago.
The injury required surgery and Koulibaly concedes the setback is a blow but insists the player’s presence will positively impact the team.
“We have lost a great leader, his quality as a world-class player on the pitch will be missed, but I think there will be other players who will emerge,” Koulibaly told Wiw Sport, as cited by Goal.com.
“Yes, there will be [pressure], but we will have to be strong behind. In attack, we have good players. I hope Sadio will come and join us very soon, we need his presence. Sadio is someone very appreciated and important to us. It hurts not to have it, but we will have to bring out the confidence we have in ourselves. We have to focus on football.”
Senegal will play the Netherlands on November 21 in their opening Group A match. They also face hosts Qatar and Ecuador.