Ahead of the 34th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) kick-off in Ivory Coast, Senegal captain Sadio Mane said it would be a special achievement for him to lift the AFCON title again.
Senegal won the last AFCON edition in 2021, defeating Egypt on penalties in the final in Cameroon.
In an interview with CAFOnline, the 31-year-old said the AFCON trophy remains one of the best trophies he has won and is confident Senegal can defend the title.
Senegal is drawn in Group C alongside Cameroon, Guinea and The Gambia.
Senegal will kick off their title defence against The Gambia on January 15, before playing the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon three days later and conclude their Group C match against Guinea on January 23.
“Firstly, winning the AFCON was the best trophy I have ever won, and coming to do it again will be a special and big achievement,” Mane told CAFOnline.
“It’s been a dream to play in this competition since I was a kid, and we will do our best. Winning the AFCON will greatly impact our football because we have won all the other categories, which is great for the country.”
Mane also acknowledges that the 2023 AFCON will be the toughest in the tournament’s history as Africa’s biggest football nations qualified for the 2023 AFCON and were all aiming to win.
“We know it won’t be easy, but we will be there to do our best and try to go through every round. We are expecting tough competition,” Mane added.
“This competition will be one of the strongest since I started playing in it because all the big countries are here, and they all have their targets, but we will see what will happen.”