The manager of Crystal Palace, Patrick Vieira has revealed that his player, Cheikhou Kouyaté who is currently in Cameroon for the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2021), has been ignoring his calls. Despite that, the coach wished the Senegal international victory in the AFCON final tonight.
Cheikhou Kouyaté is expected to feature prominently in the AFCON final game between Senegal and Egypt tonight. The highly anticipated match kicked off at 20:00 tonight at the Paul Biya Stadium, Olembé, Yaoundé, Cameroon capital city.
This is the second successive time that Senegal made it to an AFCON final and the third time in the history of the country. Despite appearing in the final for three different times, the country that is currently rated as the best football nation in Africa and 20th in the world is yet to win an AFCON title.
Unfortunately for them, Senegal will have to pass through the Pharaohs of Egypt to win their first AFCON title. Unlike Senegal that are yet to win any AFCON title in their history, Egypt are the most successful team in the history of the tournament. They have won the trophy a record seven times.
Hence, a player like Cheikhou Kouyaté is expected to hold the defensive midfield department of Senegal as tightly as possible to ensure that he does not allow the dangerous men of Egypt led by Mohamed Salah to penetrate Senegal’s danger zone.
Ahead of the AFCON final coach, Patrick Vieira admitted that he has been following the tournament and has been in touch with Cheikhou Kouyaté.
He revealed that the 32-year-old Senegalese defensive midfielder has been longing to win the AFCON title.
The coach said: “Yes I have watched a couple of the games and I have been in touch with him and exchanged messages throughout the tournament, I have wished him well and I hope he wins it.
“He’s always wanted to win it and I know what winning it will mean to him and his country.
“They came close the last time and it didn’t quite happen, and if they can win it this time around it will mean something huge to the people.”
Imagine ignoring Vieira's phone calls! 📞— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) February 6, 2022
Patrick Vieira joked that Cheikhou Kouyaté has been ignoring his calls ahead of the AFCON final 🤣 pic.twitter.com/QbGNHINQfC
Cheikhou Kouyaté has been playing for Senegal national team since February 29, 2012. Since then, he has made 73 appearances for Senegal in which he scored 3 goals.
Kouyaté joined Crystal Palace on August 2, 2018, from West Ham United for a transfer fee worth €10.70 million.