Burkinabe star Tapsoba dreams of 2026 WC spot

Burkinabe star Tapsoba dreams of 2026 WC spot
Ahmed Sayed (L) of Egypt in action against Edmond Tapsoba (R) of Burkina Faso during the FIFA World Cup 2026 CAF qualifiers soccer match between Egypt against Burkina Faso, in Cairo, Egypt, 06 June 2024. EPA/MOHAMED HOSSAM

by Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Jun 17, 2024. 15:00

Bayer Leverkusen star Edmond Tapsoba is determined to help Burkina Faso qualify for the FIFA World Cup finals for the first time in their history.

The Stallions are currently placed third in their qualifying group (Group A) having collected five points from four matches and the group winner will qualify for the global tournament.

The four best group runners-up will be drawn into play-offs to determine the sole African representative at the inter-confederation play-offs. A total of three games will be played.

“We’re dreaming about it and giving ourselves the means to get there,” Tapsoba, who helped Leverkusen win the German Bundesliga title for the first time in their history two months ago, said on the FIFA website.

“To that end, we’re working a great deal on certain details, such as concentration. We also need to learn from previous generations, and we’re always open to sharing with our elders.”

The 25-year-old has indeed exchanged ideas with veteran former Burkina Faso players, such as Jonathan Pitroipa, Aristide Bance, or Djakaridja Kone, who were all part of a painful 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign that could so easily have ended differently.

“Our brothers came so close to qualifying, but they came up against a great Algerian team,” Tapsoba lamented, recalling his country’s away-goals defeat in the CAF play-offs.

“We won the first leg 3-2, which for me is still our greatest achievement in the history of World Cup qualifying. I remember the feeling of joy and hope that swept the country, it was great. Unfortunately, the second leg was a more tactical affair and Algeria were stronger than us, winning 1-0.”

After a moment of reflection, Tapsoba added: “The country deserves to again experience that feeling [from the first leg of that play-off], but in a more prolonged way. People want to see us at the World Cup at all costs,” he continued.

“Our squad is made up of youngsters and talented senior players. We have to fly the flag of Burkina Faso high to make our parents and supporters proud.”

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