Keita Balde frustrated with lack of playing time at Russia 2018

Keita Balde frustrated with lack of playing time at Russia 2018
Keita Balde (R)

by Graeme Jackson

Monday Jul 09, 2018. 09:00

Senegal forward Keita Balde has expressed frustration at his lack of playing time at the 2018 World Cup.

The Monaco player only featured in the Teranga Lions’ final Group H match against Colombia, having sat out their first two against Poland and Japan.

The 23-year-old has admitted that he didn’t have the World Cup he was hoping for, seeing only 80 minutes of action in total.

“I think all players are like that,” he was quoted as saying by Senegalese publication Le Rufisquois.

“We all want to play the maximum games to bring more to the team. Now I acknowledge that I was a bit frustrated to be on the bench.

“I think I had a good match (against Colombia). I was present on defensive work.

“Offensively, I managed to create some opportunities and deliver some passes. I will continue to work to improve and meet the expectations of the coach.”

Despite Senegal’s group stage exit – which was only on the fair play rule after they finished with exactly the same record as Japan – Balde says the West African side should not be written off as a footballing force.

“I am sure that, as we have shown in this World Cup, we deserve the respect of all the teams in the world. We went out of the group but we can say that’s because of a lack of luck,” said the talented attacker.

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