The Portsmouth and Birmingham City enforcer standing in England’s path as Senegal pay tribute to ex-Blues, Fulham and West Ham United man

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
His time at Pompey spanned 28 appearances across two seasons.

One of those came in the demolition derby victory over Southampton in 2005, as Aliou Cisse helped his side to a 4-1 thrashing of their deadly rivals.

Now the man who signed from Birmingham in August 2004 and was known for his hard tackling, is out to make a seismic impact on the international stage and send the Three Lions home from Qatar.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cisse is now head coach of Senegal, who of course stand in the way of Gareth Southgate’s side and a place in the World Cup quarter-finals on Sunday evening.

The Lions of Teranga booked their place in the second round with a 2-1 victory over Ecuador in their final Group A game

That saw them qualify in second place behind Holland with six points, with Cisse’s side expected to give England a stern test of their credentials.

They may be without former Liverpool man Sadio Mane through injury, but can still count on the likes of Chelsea pair Kalidou Koulibaly and Edouard Mendy, impressive Watford man Ismaila Sarr and Everton’s Idrissa Gueye.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cisse knows the whole make-up of the knockout stages changes the circumstances for his side at the World Cup.

Aliou Cisse. Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP) (Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)Aliou Cisse. Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP) (Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)
Aliou Cisse. Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP) (Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

He said: ‘This will be a new stage for us. We know that we are moving to the knockout stages, which is completely different from what we are used to playing in these types of (group) matches.

‘Everyone is a good team, the best teams in the world that are competing. Therefore, we need to be prepared to come up against any side.

‘It is now a win or lose situation, there are no second chances – if you win, you go through, if you lose, you go home.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘So for the moment, we are just going to concentrate on resting and getting fit for the next game, it is simple as that.’

Senegal’s win over Ecuador was a poignant moment, with the win taking place on the second anniversary of the death of Papa Bouba Diop.

The former Pompey midfielder, who made 72 appearances for the Blues between 2007 and 2010, died after a long illness in 2020.

The Senegal squad held up a flag featuring Diop, who famously scored the goal which defeated champions France in a massive World Cup shock in 2002, as his team reached the quarter-finals.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Man of the match Koulibaly dedicated his individual success to the former Fulham, Birmingham and West Ham man.

He said: ‘We knew this game was the most important or one of the most important for our career.

‘This (player of the match) trophy, I will give it to the family of Papa Bouba Diop, because this was a special day for us, the anniversary of his death.’

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.