By Dennis Osei Gyamfi, GNA
Accra, June 12, GNA - The Senegal national football team was formed in 1960. The team was affiliated to International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) in 1962 and joined the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in 1963.
Senegal is one of the most popular and successful teams in Africa and has been home to players such as Henri Camara, Papese Cisse, El Hadji Diouf, Demba Ba, among others.
Senegal played their first competitive international game in 1961. The team narrowly lost 4-3 to Dahomey (now Benin). Senegal’s record losing margin is four goals, a feat they have managed on eight occasions.
The last of these was in 1995 and the team has almost managed two decades without adding a ninth. Senegal’s record winning margin is more impressive, set with a 7-0 victory over Mauritius in 2010.
Senegal's first appearance in the AFCON was in 1965, where they finished second in their group and lost 1–0 to Cote D Ivoire to finish in fourth place.
The team has been regular competitors in the AFCON tournament qualifying 15 times.
The Teranga Lions' best showing at an AFCON tournament was finishing as runners-up to Cameroon in 2002 in Mali. Senegal lost on penalties but went on to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup later that year in their first appearance.
Senegal sealed their place at Egypt 2019 with a 1-0 win away to Sudan earlier in October 2018 to qualify from Group A along with Madagascar, who would be playing at a African Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals for the first time in their history.
The team would be led for the second consecutive time into the tournament by their former player Aliou Cisse who took charge from Alain Giresse in 2015.
Cisse had before his substantive appointment served as a caretaker following Amara Traore's sacking, in 2012. He was also the assistant coach of the U-23 side from 2012 to 2013, before becoming the head coach from 2013-2015.
Cisse was captain of the Senegal 2002 team which was full of stars including El Hadji Diouf, Khalilou Fadiga, Salif Diao and Henri Camara.
The Teranga Lions most capped player and all-time top scorer is retired Henri Camara, with 29 goals in 99 appearances.
Cissé's squad current squad includes English Premier league stars Sadio Mane and Idrissa Gana Gueye, as well as top rated defender Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli.
Senegal are in Group C of the 2019 AFCON along with Algeria, Kenya and Tanzania. They are currently the best ranked team in Africa and sit on the 23 position in the FIFA ranking