Senegal's Idrissa Gueye (R) in action against Croatia's Luka Modric (L)
Tuesday Jun 19, 2018. 16:00
With Senegal set to make their appearance at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia on Tuesday, a number of players who graduated from the famous Diambars Football Academy will make their debut at the global showpiece.
Idrissa Gana Gueye of Everton, Papa 'Badou' Ndiaye of Stoke City and Kara Mbodji of Anderlecht are some of the graduates from the academy who have gone on to represent the West African nation.
Apart from Saliou Ciss of Angers, who is ruled out of the tournament through an injury, the academy, which was opened by ex-France international Patrick Vieira in 2003, will have a fair representation.
The academy was opened by the 1998 World Cup winner, who was born in Senegal and began the academy to promote education among young people in the country.
"That is an old dream I had since I was a very young player in Diambars academy," said Gueye, who was at the academy between 2003 and 2008.
"I am very proud to be a former player of Diambars, being able to represent it and Senegal at the World Cup.”
The group recently returned to the academy as stars of the national team to begin preparations for the World Cup.
"It's an honour and it shows that Diambars has done a great job," Ndiaye, the youngest of the group, told BBC Sport.
"They can help kids, who have dreams, to achieve their dreams - so I think Diambars is a great academy and I hope that boys over there will even do better than us."