Senegal coach Aliou Cisse will be hoping to put two Africa Cup of Nations finals disappointment behind him when the Lions of Teranga battle with Egypt in the 2021 continental final in Yaounde, Cameroon on Sunday.
The former Paris St Germain, Birmingham City and Portsmouth defender captained Senegal in 2002 but missed the vital kick in the penalty shootout as they lost to Cameroon before he lost the final as a coach in 2019 to Algeria (1-0) in Cairo.
But having seen his side that has Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, Napoli centre back Kalidou Koulibaly and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy progress to the final with an unbeaten run, Cisse feels this could be his year of glory.
Senegal beat Burkina Faso 3-1 in the semifinals on Wednesday.
“I have an extraordinary, formidable group,” Cisse said ahead of Sunday’s showdown.
“I’ve been working with this team for six years and this is the first time, in terms of mentality and state of mind, that I have a group like this. The boys really deserve victory.”
Cisse’s sentiments were echoed by Mane, who said: “I think this man deserves all the success he gets because he is the most criticised coach I have ever seen in my life, but he never gives up.
“We would like to win for our country and for him because he deserves it after everything he has been through as a player and now as a coach.”