Kalidou Koulibaly: the Senegalese who could have been world champion

When France won the World Cup in July, Kalidou Koulibaly could be forgiven for feeling a pang of regret.

Born, raised and schooled in France, the 27-year-old could very easily have also been drenched by rain and confetti on the winner’s podium inside Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.

Instead, the Napoli defender was part of a Senegal side that agonisingly missed out on a place in the knockout stage through the fair-play rule.

Despite this heartbreak, Koulibaly says he is no way fazed by his decision to choose the Lions of Teranga over his native country.

“I don’t have any regrets because I want to write the story of the future of Senegal football and I hope I’ll be able to do that,” the centre-back told BBC Sport.

“For me [the World Cup] was a good experience because I wanted to show that Senegal is one of the best teams in Africa.”

Born in north-eastern France to Senegalese parents, Koulibaly says he has been heavily influenced by the multi-cultural nature of his upbringing.

“I had the French culture at school and I love this culture but I also had another culture at home – that of Senegal,” he explains.

“I think this way of growing up has made me the person I am today – because I had the two cultures.”

Source – BBC Sport

Eric Mutema
Staff journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. Eric is a Journalism graduate from Shang Tao Media Arts College and is passionate about technology and science fiction writing.