Sunday, December 10

Salah and Sané, Liverpool’s fratricidal duel to reign in Africa

does not exist in the african football a historic rivalry between Egypt Y Senegal, although it could begin to take shape in 2022. Condemned to fight in March in a two-round duel for a place in the World Cup in Qatar, the pharaohs and the Teranga Lions They meet this Sunday in the African Cup final (8:00 p.m. CAF Youtube). And both teams will be led by a Liverpool striker, Mohamed Salah Y Sadio Mané, both with 10 on their backs and both in search of their first continental reign.

“One of the two will go home very happy and the other much less”, his coach joked this Saturday in Liverpool, Jürgen Klopp, which will see the final after facing a Cup match against Cardiff without its two stars, as has happened for a month. “But both have the possibility of achieve something really big“, Add.

the finals lost

They both have 29 years, 1992 harvest, the Senegalese two months older than the Egyptian, and both with the Champions of 2019 and the Premier of 2020 as the main trophies in his record. “This one would be completely different for me, a little more dear to my heart”Salah unequivocally acknowledges that chasing Egypt’s eighth title, the most successful in the tournament, but his first particular success after lose the 2017 final against Cameroon. Sané crashed in the final of the last edition against Algeria, and aspires to write Senegal’s name for the first time in the competition’s list of winners.

They are the two best players in Africa, although their coaches value them differently. Carlos Queiroz, who will not sit on the Egyptian bench after being sent off in the semi-finals, insists that “the best players is always the team”, which “a player can win games, but a team wins championships”, and obvious things like that. Aliou Cisse, present in the two finals lost by Senegal (as a player in 2002 and as a coach in 2019), surrenders unapologetically to his star: “Coaches build teams around great players. Mané is an example, a soccer and social leader, the one that marks the tempo of the team”.

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Fatigue can decide

Senegal reaches the final with the favorite vitola with which the championship began, reinforced by the path of both teams to the final in Yaoundé. Egypt started with a loss to Nigeria and went through with narrow wins against Burkina Fas and Sudan. And in the qualifying rounds, always against important rivals, they have suffered even more. eliminated Ivory Coast on penalties (Salah scored the fifth and decisive), Morocco already in extra time Cameroon again in a fatal batch for the hostess.

Egypt, which played its semi-final on Thursday, even probed the possibility of delaying the final to Monday, for fear of the physical superiority of a Senegal whose path has been more placid. Leader of the group, although with two unexpected draws against Guinea and Malawi, he had no problems in some friendly crosses against Cape Verde (2-0), Equatorial Guinea (3-1) and Burkina Faso (3-1).

As if they were aware that the world is watching this fratricidal duel that two fellow ‘reds’ settle in the heart of Africa, Salah and Sané traced their performance in the semifinals. One goal and one assist each, surely his best game this month. The Senegalese has scored three goals in the tournament, for two from his Egyptian teammate, although the winner will be none other than the one who this Sunday is photographed with the African Cup. For one or the other, Klopp will have to get off the couch.

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