Senegal’s 2002 World Cup Squad: Where are they now?

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El-Hadji Diouf

El-Hadji Diouf  

Posted  Saturday, December 7   2013 at  02:00

When Senegal qualified for the 2002 World Cup, they were drawn in Group A with Denmark, defending champions France, and Uruguay. No one expected Senegal to do anything in their first World Cup, and were expected to finish bottom of the group. Being in the opening game of the tournament against France, one of the favourites, was seen as a baptism of fire and the French were going to win with ease…weren’t they? It turned out otherwise! In one of the biggest World Cup shocks ever, the plucky Lions of Teranga beat France 1-0 with midfielder Papa Diop scoring the only goal in the 30th minute. It was almost 2-0 when Khalilou Fadiga rattled the bar after turning Franck Leboeuf inside out.

Senegal would draw their next two group games to qualify for the knockout stages. They beat Sweden 2-1 in the last 16 with an extra-time Golden Goal from Henri Camara, taking them to a quarter final match against Turkey and becoming only the second African time (at the time, Ghana made it to the quarters in 2010) to reach that stage of the tournament.

Sadly, the fairytale would end here as Turkey won the quarter final 1-0 thanks to another Golden Goal, this time by Ilhan Mansiz.

Senegal made friends around the world with their spirited run and a lot of their squad earned massive moves to bigger leagues due to their performances.
Whatever happened to that young squad who got to the quarter-finals on their début appearance? Let’s find out…

1. Tony Sylva – Goalkeeper – 27 (at time of tournament)
At the time, Tony was Monaco’s reserve goalkeeper. He moved to Lille ,playing 163 games over a four year spell before moving to Trabzonspor. Tony spent two seasons at the club before retiring in 2010..

2. Omar Daf – Defender – 25
Omar had a solid career before and after the World Cup, spending the majority of his professional career at Sochaux. He made 185 league appearences from 1997-2009 before moving to Brest. Omar moved back to Sochaux at the start of the season.

3. Pape Sarr – Midfielder – 24
The midfielder only made one appearance at the World Cup against Denmark. His career steadily deteriorated after the World Cup as he slid down the French leagues. He was last seen at fourth division team Olympique Noisy-le-Sec in 2010.

4.Papa Malick Diop – Defender – 27
Diop had a fairly nomadic career with his longest spell at a club was only four seasons. Ironically, he only played 22 games for Lorient in that period but his shorter spells at other clubs. He retired in 2008 at Metz.

5. Alassane N’Dour – Midfielder – 20
One of the youngest members, Alassane never really lived up to his promise and only played 78 games over a 10 year career that saw unsuccessful spells at ASSE, West Brom, Troyes, Walsall and Greek lower league side Doxa Drama.
newsid_1949000/1949433.stm> of the defensive midfielder suggested he had a long international career ahead of him, but he never received another cap for Senegal after the World Cup.
6.Alassane never really lived up to his promise and only played 78 games over a 10 year career that saw unsuccessful spells at ASSE, West Brom, Troyes, Walsall and Greek lower league side Doxa Drama.

7. Henri Camara – Striker – 25
In May 2010, he moved to Greek Super League side Atromitos for one year, then signed a two year deal with fellow Greek outfit Panetolikos, scoring 10 goals for Panetolikos this season as they made it into the Greek Football League playoffs.

8.Amara Traoré – Striker – 36
Amara would manage Senegal from December 2009 to February 2012, being sacked after he failed to take them to the 2012 African Cup of Nations. In March this year, he became head coach at Guinean side AS Kaloum.

9. Souleymane Camara – Striker – 19
The baby of the squad, who spent the early part of his career with Monaco, only played once in the World Cup. Last season saw his best return for Montpellier since his original loan spell, scoring 10 goals in 33 league games.

10. Khalilou Fadiga – Midfielder – 27
He would play on after passing medicals, but he wasn’t the same player that dazzled in the WC and would retire in 2011 with Belgian third division side KSV Temse, only playing 50 games for clubs in England and Belgium since 2004.

12. Amdy Faye – Midfielder – 25
Faye moved to Stoke in 2008. He would only appear once in the 2009-10 season before being released.
Faye moved to Leeds in September 2010. After his contract wasn’t renewed, he announced his retirement.

13. Lamine Diatta – Defender – 26
Lamine signed for Hamilton Accies in the SPL in March 2009 on a short-term deal. He spent the first half of the 2010-11 season in Tunisia with Étoile Sportive du Sahel before moving to Doncaster. He retired.

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