The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations would come to a grand finale on Friday 19th of July when the Teranga Lions of Senegal clash with the Desert Foxes of Algeria for the most coveted trophy in African football.
The two sides already met earlier in the tournament with the North African side edging the game narrowly with a 1-0 with a goal from Youcef Belaili. Senegal would be hoping to take revenge and secure their first continental title but Djamel Belmadi has revealed that his side would be ready to deliver the title for his side.
“We are aware of the circumstances in our country. Our people showed great stuff lately, but our focus is on the final and we want to win the tournament for our people. We want to make them happy. We will prepare for that match as we did for the previous ones. We are focused and I rely on my players’ motivation and enthusiasm,” Belmadi said in his pre-match press conference.
“We are preparing in the best conditions and we are playing this match just to win. The group stage game is totally different, this is a decisive match. Both teams are on another psychological level. We are playing against the best African ranked team, and they played in the previous World Cup, so we can lose, they are the favourites,” the former Algerian international continued.
“I haven’t spoken to Aliou Cisse but we will talk after the game. It’s ironic that the two kids who grew up together are now facing in the final. We used to play together as young boys in Paris. Now we are coaches for our national teams. Fate brought us to this final. Being passionate doesn’t deny you from thinking well. Matches like that need both.”
“Many changes happened between 2014 and 2019. Yes, some players were in the World Cup then but I think it’s much different. We have the best attack, second-best defence and win convincingly. It’s not me to say if we deserve the title or not, the results say.”
“We are not tired, but 100% ready. I ask our supporters to celebrate in a responsible way. We are sad about the news of those who passed away while celebrating. We are trying to represent our country in a responsible way and we have to respect the country we are in.”
The manager was accompanied by Algerian midfielder Adlene Guediora who also disclosed the plans for the game and the dressing room atmosphere. He said:
“The coach knows well what he wants and what he needs from the players. The credit is to him. If you don’t have a great cook, you won’t have great food.”
“We are a united team and that’s very important for Algeria. We used to have Good individuals but now we are also good as a team. I have no memories about the 1990 title, I was very young. But now I have the chance to write history myself. We did great in the 2014 World Cup and then there were some hard times. But we worked hard to get back here.”