Senegal captain Kalidou Koulibaly appreciated the atmosphere of fraternity despite the Terangha Lions 2-0 defeat to Netherlands at the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Monday.
The African champions have been tipped by many to have a successful outing in Qatar.
There were scenes of unity and togetherness as the entire continent rallied behind Aliou Cisse’s side before and during the game.
“It’s brilliant to have such strong backing,” the Chelsea defender told FIFA+.
“We knew that we would have a lot of African fans behind us on account of us being Cup of Nations winners, and by having proved that we’re a good team.”
He added: “In fact, I’m calling on all Africans to come together, because that’s how we’re going to move forward. We support all the African teams and I think they support us too. That’s really nice. We heard the fans throughout the match – we’re going to need them for the upcoming games.”
Ismail Jakobs, born to a Senegalese father and a German mother, shared his captain’s views. “It was fantastic,” said the 23-year-old Monaco star, who is competing in his first-ever World Cup.
“We heard them during the warm-up, and it was my first time in front of them, so it was great. It’s also nice to see all of Africa standing shoulder to shoulder like that.”