World Cup: Demba Ba proud of his form despite Senegal snub

Demba Ba Goztepe
Senegal striker Demba Ba says he does not regret being left out of the World Cup squad

Ba last turned out for the Teranga Lions in March 2015 and was hoping to stake a claim in coach Aliou Cisse’s World Cup squad after scoring seven goals in 13 appearances for his Turkish club Goztepe.

The former Chelsea forward’s career has been plagued by injury in recent seasons, limiting his playing opportunities for both club and country.

Facing competition in a Senegal strikeforce that includes Sadio Mane, Keita Balde and Mame Biram Diouf who did duty at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals in Gabon as well as qualifying the team for Russia, Ba’s return was always going to be a difficult challenge.

Failing to reclaim his place in the national team has however not worried Ba as Senegal return to the World Cup for the first time since 2002, thereby missing three editions.

“I am not too disappointed at all,” Ba was quoted as saying by Senegalese publication Record.

“I have no control over the coach's decision, I will only hurt myself by pulling my hair out or by feeling sorry for myself.

“The only power I have, in reality, is to keep producing good performances. I do not have to whine about missing the chance to play in a World Cup.

“I have no regrets as my progress in football has taken the proper route because hard work has taken me to where I am today. After 18 months out with injury. In July 2016, people were wondering if my career was over. Today, they are sad because Demba is not on the list of 23 Lions.

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"You cannot imagine the path I have taken to get to this stage of my career. I can only feel a sense of pride and contentment.”

Cisse has admitted to a tough decision in selecting his final squad, leading to the omission of big-name players like Crystal Palace full-back Pape Souare, Newcastle United’s Mohamed Diame, Saint-Etienne left-back Cheikh Mbengue and Pape Kouly Diop of La Liga side Eibar.

In Russia, Senegal would be looking to go further than the quarter-final stage they reached in 2002.