No one knows, yet, whether this should be seen as a precursor. Or if chance has just given birth to a strange coincidence. The only certainty is that it is a sacred combination of circumstances that occurred on Sunday some 6,000 kilometers away. While Senegal became the first country to qualify for CAN 2022 in Cameroon (January 8 to February 6, 2022) thanks to its victory in Guinea-Bissau (0-1), Abdou Diallo was, for the first time, expressed on the possibility that could be offered to him to one day wear the jersey of the Lions of Téranga.
“Playing for a national team, it always represents something, I who am Franco-Senegalese”, explained the defender of the PSG on the waves of Europe 1. Aware, of course, that a cape would be first the ” consequence of his performances in club ”, the ex-captain of the team of France Espoirs completed his statement by what some already see as a call of lights to the place of the selection led by Sadio Mané. “Today, yes, I can opt for France or for Senegal”, he explained before agreeing that neither of the two countries ” [l]’chose. “
“He must take another step forward”
Since he declined the invitation of Sylvain Ripoll to Euro Espoirs 2019 to undergo surgery, the one who has 44 selections in young people (under 16 at Espoirs) has no news from the Blue House. And for good reason. Now 24 years old, his situation as an understudy at PSG has no reason to encourage Didier Deschamps to open the door to the A and a French defense where the candidates installed in the club are already legion.
“I remember that Abdou was one step ahead of the others,” said Patrick Gonfalone, who led him until selection -19. He’s a promising player. But he must take another step forward, assert his personality and strengthen his game. We can still see the difference with Kimpembe for example. “
For the moment, no close to the Lions, both in the federation and in the staff of coach Aliou Cissé, has reacted to the statements of the Parisian defender. Quite the opposite of the Senegalese press which, it, made its cabbage fat remarks made by the former captain of the France Espoirs team this weekend. Not a daily newspaper has indeed failed to relay what the vast majority of “Mbarodi” followers (Editor’s note: Lion in the Fulani language) already perceive as a fantastic opportunity for a defense yet already endowed with Koulibaly (Napoli), Kouyaté (Crystal Palace) and Cissé (Olympiakos).
“The Senegalese will welcome him with open arms”
Born in Tours (Indre-et-Loire), shaped in France before moving on to improve in Belgium (Zulte Waregem) and Germany (Mainz and Dortmund), the former Monegasque has certainly made his classes in all the teams of France youth. But raised by a mother of Senegalese origin, the one whose compound first name (Lakhad) is a tribute to the 3rd Caliph of the Murid brotherhood, is, like many binationals, also attached to the country of his parents. Especially since it has been the object of all attention for several years.
“Since his time in Dortmund, people here are convinced that he has the profile to one day join the Lions,” explains Salif Diallo, senior reporter and head of the sports department of the Senegalese press agency (APS). If you do a poll among the fans, 99% will tell you to call Abdou Diallo for selection. The Senegalese will welcome him with open arms, him like his younger brother Ibrahima besides. “
Officially, no contact has been established between the Parisian and the Lions. Not in the past, not even recently. If things were to change in the coming weeks, they would suffer no obstacles. Among the players closest to Diallo at PSG is indeed Idrissa Gueye, fifth most capped player of the Lions (72 caps). Ideal no doubt to make the link, if necessary, with the coach Aliou Cissé who knows PSG well having played there from 1998 to 2001.