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by Shelby Hawkins on June 28, 2018

Celebrations are in order after Senegal beat Poland 2-1 following Japan’s upset win against Colombia. This makes them the first African team to win a game in the 2018 World Cup.

As arguably the best African team in the tournament, Senegal’s team is led by star players Sadio Mané, Kalidou Koulibaly and Cheikhou Kouyaté. However, their coach, Aliou Cissé garnered the most social media attention following yesterday’s win.

Aliou Cissé is a celebrated football player and coach. He is a former defensive midfielder for the English Premier League Club Birmingham City and later Portsmouth.

In 2002 Cissé led Senegal to the World Cup quarter finals as the team’s captain, and in 2015 he became a coach.

Cissé is currently the only Black coach apart of the tournament and also the youngest at 42 years old. 

His accomplishments are not what caused such a commotion; it was his post-win celebratory “fist pump” that quickly turned into a reaction gif and meme thanks to the internet.

Senegal’s win is not only significant for its team and fans, but it is an accomplishment for all of Africa.

“Senegal represents the whole African continent,” he said told Independent UK. “We are Senegal but I can guarantee the whole of Africa is supporting the Senegal team. I get calls and lots of people are proud and we are proud to represent the African continent.”

The World Cup remains highly significant in Africa because football is the prominent sport in most countries, and it also gives the continent a chance to prove itself on a world stage.

Africa is also home to some of the most enthusiastic fans.

Although an African team has yet be crowned a World Cup champion, Cisse feels hopeful. “I’m certain that one day an African team, an African country, will win the World Cup,” he told BBC Sport.


Featured Image via Pixabay

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Shelby Hawkins
My name is Shelby, like the mustang, and I am an avid lover of photography, literature and desserts. I identify as a proud feminist and Pan-Africanist; hopefully that manifests in my writing.