Thursday May 24, 2018. 12:00
Senegal captain Cheikhou Kouyate says his side is ready to make their country proud at the 2018 World Cup.
The Teranga Lions will be making their second appearance at the global tournament and hoping to follow in the footsteps of the 2002 team, which famously beat reigning world champions France in their group opener before getting as far as the quarterfinals.
"The World Cup is a competition that takes place every four years and it is not given to everyone to take part," Kouyate said at the start of their training camp at the beach resort of Saly-Portudal, as quoted by the Independent.
"We have the chance now to participate and we will prepare well to please the Senegalese people. We want to write our own story.
"We are going to play match by match, but the most important thing is to be ready on the day of the game," the West Ham United midfielder added.
Senegal are expected to have almost all of their World Cup squad report for training by today, but Liverpool star Sadio Mane remains absent ahead of his participation in the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid on Saturday in Kiev.
"It is our brother who plays and although there are supporters of Real Madrid in our squad, for this final everyone supports Liverpool because we want Sadio to win this trophy," Kouyate said.
"We hope he will do it because it will push us to try and win the World Cup."