One of the best Lions since the start of the CAN with Senegal, Idrissa Gana Guèye talks about his African Cup and his ambition for the final victory in this exclusive interview with RFI. Bringing the Cup to Dakar remains his goal and even the news about his possible transfer to PSG do not seem to divert him from his ultimate goal ...
Collected by our special envoy in Cairo,
Idrissa Guèye, in 2006, Senegal played its last semi-final of the CAN. Do you remember where you were?
Yes I remember, I was at Diambars in my training center. We watched the game with my teammates. It did not finish well for Senegal (2-1 defeat to Egypt future winner ). We were real fans and we would have liked to see Senegal go to the final, but unfortunately, we got eliminated. Everyone was sad, but it was sport, even though it was painful memories for us when we were 16 years old.
Now, here you are two games of the title of champion of Africa with Senegal. What do you see when you look at the remaining opponents for Senegal (Tunisia, Nigeria, Algeria)?
From the beginning, our goal was to come here and win the trophy. After that, it does not matter which team we are going to play against. We did not come here to do calculations. We are ready to face everyone, and the most important thing is to focus on our team, what we want to do and how far we want to go. Try to improve our game, learn from our mistakes and not believe that we are already there. There is still a game before the final that will prepare well.
"Giresse has brought us a lot "
You made a nice run to the semi-finals except defeat against Algeria (1-0) in the first round. In hindsight, has this defeat done more good than bad in Senegal?
It's a good lesson we took that day because everyone saw us as favorites to beat any team and that day, we saw we were not there yet. ready and needed to be remobilized, to work even harder if we wanted to achieve our goals.
Find the Algerians in the final is something that you like especially as you were injured for this meeting of the first round?
(Laughs) We're already going to talk about the next match against Tunisia, after which we will see which team we will play if we pass. After, we can talk about Algeria if we are in the final.
How do you find Tunisia, your next opponent?
Tunisia has always had a good team and good players, so do not underestimate them. The most important for me really is my team. I am not here to talk about Tunisia.
A word about Alain Giresse, the coach of Tunisia and who was your coach in Senegal. What memories do you have of him?
Very good memories despite the elimination at the CAN 2015 . It's a coach who brought us a lot, we always stayed in touch despite everything that happened. Humanly, he is a good person who is respectful towards his players and who fights for his players.
What did the 2018 World Cup bring to Senegal in the management you had of this African Cup of Nations?
It allowed us to grow and to know that we do not win a match without having played it. Everyone thought we were going to the round of 16 at the World Cup and we eliminated at the last minute for a history of yellow cards. Now it keeps us focused from start to finish, taking the matches one after the other without thinking.
"The PSG? I am focused on my competition »
It's been a month and a half since you've been together. It starts to weigh the absence of the family, of the relatives, where you are entirely in your bubble?
It is true that it is complicated to be between men and not to see his family, but we are there for a goal, as we are on our way, we are focused. We are not distracted, we are determined to go all the way. After we will have time to rest well and enjoy our family.
When you look at your route from Diambars to Everton via Lille and the selection, we notice that you are constantly growing ...
I always try to do my best to keep going, no matter what team I am. I try to bring my contribution and my experience to the team. It is true that with the national team, it is different because I am brought to play higher.
Precisely, higher in selection and more sentinel club, you are comfortable in these two positions?
Yes I'm comfortable, it's still football. I'm here to help my team too, so if the coach feels that by playing higher, I'm more useful to the team, I'm ready to do anything to satisfy him.
The file of your transfer resurfaces with the PSG which returns to the charge according to the newspaper the Team. What do you say about it ? Do you think about it?
I did not read the team, but they told me about it. There, I am fully focused on my competition. We'll have time to talk about it again if it's still there.
It still interests you the PSG?
(Laughs) I can not talk about it there. Once again, I am focused on my competition.
What would this continental trophy bring you for the rest of your career?
I can not even imagine it. But I do not think of following my career, I think of the joy it will bring to the country. It's a goal we've had for a long time, we want to do well and give this trophy to the country.
[Comments transcribed by Ndiassé SAMBE for rfi.fr]