2022 World Cup: Bouna Sarr with Senegal, a winding route of choice

Bouba Sarr in training at his club, Bayern Munich AFP - CHRISTOF STACHE

Text by: Ndiasse Sambe Follow

3 min

The Bayern Munich player, born in Lyon, of Guinean mother and Senegalese father, received and (would have) accepted his invitation to play with the Senegalese national team.

For years, he refused appeals from Guinea and the Lions, waiting for that of France before making a choice that many supporters consider " 

by default 



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The information was given this Thursday, September 23 by the Senegalese press.

Bouna Sarr, after having made hope for Guinea, and hoped for France, will wear the jersey of Senegal.

The Bayern Munich player has reportedly received his summons for matches against Namibia in October counting for Matchday 3 and 4 of the 2002 World Cup qualifiers.

At 29, the native of Lyon finally decided to start an international career more than six years after the first call from Guinea who wanted to offer him his first cape. The trajectory of Bouna Sarr's ultimate choice thus illustrates the sometimes complicated path of binational - even tri-national - in their career option in selection, divided between sporting and financial interest and love or recognition of the country of origin. In the case of Bouna Sarr, the choice was long to emerge, and his procrastination as much as his about-faces had time to spoil his image with the supporters.

Guinea was the first to call on the player trained in Metz.

At the time, Antonio Souaré, president of the Horoya football club and boss of the Guinean Football Federation, friend of Bouna Sarr's father, played recruiters.

The player does not say "no", even has a Guinean passport established before refusing to participate in CAN 2015 with the Syli.

Less than six months later, the Messin landed at the Olympique de Marseille and changed dimension.

The Mbaye Niang and Nampalys Mendy cases

Guinea continues its work of undermining, for its part, Senegal is trying its luck and hopes that the prospect of the 2018 World Cup will convince Sarr. He declines again and later asserts his desire to play with the Blues. “ 

I made a firm decision: I would like to play for the France team. It's clear. There will be disappointments on the side of the African continent but I assume my choices, and I am not afraid to say it.

 “An exit that comes back to him in the face today by opting for Senegal and when the train of the Blues, passed by in November 2020, moved away (almost) definitively.

At the time of putting on the Lions jersey, Bouna Sarr knows he is awaited by the thousands of Senegalese supporters, some of whom have already begun to dispute his arrival, more out of a duty of memory than out of sporting interest when the right side of the Aliou Cissé's team defense lacks players.

The former Marseillais will always be able to say to himself that in the very recent past, Mbaye Niang or Nampalys Mendy also lived the same story of " 

no, I'm waiting for France

 " before saying "yes" to Senegal.

Their fortunes have been varied in selection, but final adoption is always subject to good performance.

It's up to Bouna Sarr to play ...

2022 World Cup: calendar and results of qualifying Africa


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  • Senegal

  • World Cup 2022

  • Diaspora African players

  • Soccer