FIFA World Cup™ finals history
The 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan remains a high water mark for Senegalese football. Qualifying for the tournament for the first time at the expense of African heavyweights such as Morocco, Egypt and Algeria was already viewed as a considerable achievement, but their subsequent run to the quarter-finals exceeded the expectations of all but the most fervent Senegalese supporters. After upsetting holders France (1-0) in the opening match, the Lions of Teranga drew 1-1 and 3-3 with Denmark and Uruguay respectively to advance to the Round of 16. Bruno Metsu’s men then defeated Sweden (2-1) to set up a quarter-final clash with Turkey, in which they lost out to an extra-time golden goal.
Senegal have never come close to emulating their 2002 exploits, going on disappointing runs that have been interspersed by the occasional strong performance. Since 2008, they have alternated between failing to qualify for the CAF Africa Cup of Nations and suffering early exits from the continental showpiece. It is not talent that they lack, with the majority of their stars performing in major European leagues. Their creditable qualifying campaign for Brazil 2014, which culminated in a third-round defeat by Côte d'Ivoire, does at least provide solid foundations on which to build ahead of Russia 2018.
Appointed directly after Senegal were eliminated from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, Aliou Cisse, who captained the prodigious side that took the 2002 World Cup by storm, will likely put the high esteem in which he is held to good use, as he attempts to recover the style of play and cohesion that the Africans were known for in the past.
99 – Between 1999 and 2008, Senegalese attacker Henri Camara amassed 99 caps for the Lions of Teranga, scoring 29 times, including the golden goal against Sweden which sent them into the quarter-finals of Korea/Japan 2002.
The former players
Jules Bocande, Khalilou Fadiga, El Hadji Diouf, Henri Camara, Roger Mendy, Tony Sylva