Senegal’s World Cup boss is a ‘friend’ of Karren Brady – and she backs his team

Many are tipping Senegal to be one of the surprise packages of the 2022 World Cup, including West Ham vice-chair Karren Brady.

They may have lost their talisman Sadio Mane to injury, but the African champions have an ace up their sleeve: Their manager Aliou Cisse – otherwise known as 'El Tactico'.

Brady, who knows the man well from their time together at Birmingham City, reckons Cisse and Senegal are good enough to go as far as England at the tournament and has warned people to write them off at their peril.

READ MORE: Sadio Mane’s World Cup dream finally over as injury rules him out completely

Writing in The Sun last month, Brady said: "Whatever the success of its team, the current African champions will owe plenty to chief coach Aliou Cisse, seven years in the job with proven ability of moulding useful parts into a formidable machine.

"I doubt very much whether they will be crowned champions but their team overall is good enough to go at least as far England or Wales.

"Africa these days is no pushover and the welcome fact is that her teams are mostly run by Africans. El Tactico is leading the pack."

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Cisse, who had spells at Portsmouth and PSG, spent two years at Birmingham, where Brady was a director, though his stint there was marred by personal tragedy.

"He lost 11 relatives in a ferry that sank crossing from Gambia to Senegal," Brady wrote. "He kept the terrible news to himself for days before the facts emerged.

"Naturally we invited him to take indefinite leave but that wasn’t his way of mourning. He stayed with us for all but a few days, going about his business with dignity, asking for no favours, showing incredible mental strength.

"If there is such a person as a natural manager, the beloved Cisse is close."

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