YAOUNDE (Reuters) -
Factbox on Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers Senegal.
Africa Cup of Nations record
Previous appearances in finals: (15) 1965, 1968, 1986, 1990, 1992, 1994, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019
Best performance: Runners-up 2002, 2019
Drawn in Group B with Guinea, Malawi and Zimbabwe
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Coach: Aliou Cisse
He captained Senegal at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, where they beat holders France in the opening game and reached the quarter final. His club career took in spells at Lille and Paris St Germain before he played in the English Premier League with Birmingham City and Portsmouth.
Cisse coached Senegal’s under-23 team at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and then took over the senior side in 2015 and took them to the last World Cup finals in Russia.
This is the third Cup of Nations finals for the 45-year-old, who took Senegal to the final at the last edition.
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Key player: Sadio Mane. Age: 29. Forward.
The reigning African Footballer of the Year competes at a fourth Cup of Nations finals, hoping to finally get Senegal to the winners’ podium after disappointing returns to the last three editions.
Mane has been a regular for his country since 2012 and collected 80 caps, including participation in the last World Cup in Russia.
He is the first Senegalese player to be voted Africa’s top footballer and has hero status in his country for his exploits at Liverpool, as well as his charitable deeds at home.
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FIFA world ranking Dec 2021: 20
How they qualified: Top place in Group I, ahead of Guinea Bissau, Congo and Eswatini
Goalkeeper: Seny Dieng (Queens Park Rangers), Alfred Gomis (Stade Rennes), Edouard Mendy (Chelsea)
Defenders: Fode Ballo-Toure (AC Milan), Saliou Ciss (Nancy), Pape Abou Cisse (Olympiakos), Abdou Diallo (Paris St Germain), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli), Cheikhou Kouyate (Crystal Palace), Ibrahima Mbaye (Bologna), Bouna Sarr (Bayern Munich), Abdoulaye Seck (Antwerp)
Midfielders: Idrissa Gana Gueye (Paris St Germain), Pape Gueye (Olympique Marseille), Joseph Lopy (Sochaux), Mamadou Loum (Deportivo Alaves), Nampalys Mendy (Leicester City), Moustapha Name (Paris FC), Pape Matar Sarr (Metz)
Forwards: Keita Balde (Cagliari), Boulaye Dia (Villarreal), Famara Diedhiou (Alanyaspor), Habib Diallo (Racing Strasbourg), Bamba Dieng (Olympique Marseille), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Ismaila Sarr (Watford), Mame Baba Thiam (Kayserispor).
(Compiled by Mark Gleeson Editing by Mark Potter)