Football: Senegalese Idrissa Guèye, forever the first "centenary" Lion

The midfielder Idrissa Gana Guèye, record holder of selections with the Lions of Teranga. DeFodi Images via Getty Images - DeFodi Images

Text by: Ndiasse Sambe Follow

3 min

By playing the Senegal-Mozambique match (5-1), counting for the 3rd day of the CAN 2024 qualifiers, Idrissa Gana Guèye made his 100th selection by depriving Henri Camara of the record for the number of caps in the national team. A logical consecration for those who knew the Lion at its beginnings.


Read more

On November 11, 2011 in Mantes-la-Ville, Idrissa Guèye made his first selection during the friendly match Senegal-Guinea (4-1) in preparation for the CAN 2012. His first forty-five minutes in the Lions jersey did not convince the coach at the time, Amara Traoré, to include him in his list for the CAN co-organized by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. But all the followers of the Senegal national team knew that it was only part postponed and that this first selection would call others. Twelve years and 99 caps later, Idrissa Guèye became the first player in Senegal's history to reach the 100-cap mark.


I can only congratulate him for this long career which is an example for all young Senegalese who aspire to become professional footballers. He is a great professional and a real winner," said his coach Aliou Cissé.

"He wanted more than others. »

The native of Dakar has often been taken as an example from his beginnings as an apprentice footballer. At the Diambars Institute, it was his room that was shown to visitors. "Everything was clean, tidy. The clothes were well folded and Idy was someone very neat and who loved perfumes, "recalls, not without a small smile in the voice, Boubacar Gadiaga, former coach of Diambars.

For him, as for those who knew the number 5 of the Lions in his debut, this performance is anything but a surprise as the current Everton player displayed a character and a mind that allowed him to lift mountains. "Gana, it's his mind that characterizes him first," says Mor Ndiaye, coach of Guèye at 14, in his debut at the Diambars training center. "He was not the most talented, some could even doubt his future in football because he was small at the time [Guèye is 1.74 m tall today, Editor's note], but he hung on, he put heart into what he did, and showed that he wanted more than others," adds the father of Senegalese international Pape Alioune Ndiaye.

Idrissa Gana Gueye has just crossed the 100-cap mark with the Senegal national team (record). 💯✅🇸🇳 #SENMOZ | #AFCON2023Q

— FSF (@Fsfofficielle) March 24, 2023

"He knew how to forge his path"

Boubacar Gadiaga is truly the technician who launched Idrissa Guèye by making him a starter and his captain in the A team of Diambars. He said: "Idy, he was a natural captain for me. He was loved and respected by his teammates. Above all, he was a tactical, mental and behavioral leader. »


He didn't like to lose," adds Aly Ly, a former resident of Diambars, who arrived at the institute the same year as Idrissa Guèye. "Even when we played to laugh in training, he was at full strength, didn't like defeat."

For many, to see today the former PSG player break the record of national team caps was almost written. "He was able to forge his path. He is a very structured boy, who knows what he wants, who has a very healthy lifestyle. He is consistent in his performances and it's normal to see him at the level he is at now, "said Boubacar Gadiaga who now coaches in Morocco.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Henri Camara (@henri_camara)

Newsletter Receive all the international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application

Read on on the same topics:

  • Senegal
  • Football
  • Sports
  • CAN 2024
  • CAN