Senegal coach Amara Traore, who on Tuesday extended his contract for three more years after deep anxieties, named his 2012 Africa Cup of Nations list on Wednesday at a press conference in Dakar.
The squad includes nearly all the players who helped Senegal achieve a brilliant qualification ahead of Cameroon and DR Congo. Former French junior internationals Cheikh Mbengue and Armand Traore, who both recently made nationality switch, were also called up to add fresh blood to the Lions’ mellowing defence manned by Marseille’s 33-year-old Souleymane Diawara.
Newcastle’s top striker Demba Ba, Wigan’s Mohamed Diame, Birmingham’s Guirane Ndaw and Mustapha Bayal Sall of Doincaster Rovers are the notable England-based players on the list.
The team’s top scorers Mamadou Niang, Issiar Dia, Moussa Sow and Papiss Cisse are also on board.
Senegal will be fine tuning at home from January 8, with pre-tournament friendlies against Sudan on January 12 and Tunisia on January 14, in Dakar.
Although many pundits deem the West African team as top favourites for next year’s showpiece, coach Traore says they are only underdogs “heading for the Gabon / Equatorial 2012 as an ordinary team.”
Pitted against Zambia, Libya and co-hosts Equatorial Guinea in Group A, the Teranga Lions will begin their campaign against the Chipolopolo on January 21.
|Bouna Coundoul||New York Red Bulls|
|Khadim Ndiaye||ASC Linguere|
|Pape Latyr Ndiaye||US Ouakam|
|Pape M. Diakhate||Grenada|
|Souleymane Diawara|| Marseille
|Kader Mangane||Stade Rennes|
|Mustapha Bayal Sall||Doincaster Rovers|
|Lamine Sane|| Bordeaux
|Armand Traore|| Queens Park
|Mohamed Diame|| Wigan
|Guirane Ndaw||Birmingham City|
|Souleymane Camara|| Montpellier
|Papiss Demba Cisse||Freiburg|
|Ndiaye Deme Ndiaye||Arles-Avignon|
|Mamadou Niang||Al Saad|