Koulibaly upbeat

LIBREVILLE. — Kalidou Koulibaly admits he waited and waited for the call to come from France before choosing to play for Senegal, and does not regret his decision for one second.

The powerful 25-year-old centre-back was born in France and represented the country of his birth at Under-20 level, but he accepted the call from coach Aliou Cisse in September 2015 to help the Lions of Teranga qualify for the African Cup of Nations soccer finals.

“I waited for a long time for a call-up for Les Bleus,” says the Napoli star. “I know there was a possibility at the time of my arrival at Napoli, but I have made my decision now and I don’t regret it.

“Senegal have a magnificent team. There are young players, a lot of whom have played in France and now in England.”

Having waited for the call that never came, Koulibaly was astounded to hear France coach Didier Deschamps cite his name in an interview on French television last year when asked about players who he was monitoring.

“I was watching the programme without really paying attention and then I heard my name. He must have missed something. I don’t blame him for it,” said Koulibaly, who is now focused fully on helping the country of his roots.

Runners-up in 2002, Senegal have never won the African Cup of Nations before. — AFP.

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