Senegal's Aliou Cisse is the Only Black Coach at the World Cup & He's Totally Worth Celebrating
"I'm certain that one day an African team, an African country, will win the World Cup," says the celebrated coach.
Senegal's win over Poland during their first World Cup 2018 match still has folks celebrating, and rightfully so.
The Lions of Taranga won 2-1 against the European team on Tuesday in Moscow. Not only are the team's agile players being praised for the win, but heir coach Aliou Cisse is receiving an outpouring of love on social media as well.
The accomplished Cisse, led Senegal to the World Cup quarter-finals in 2002 as the team's captain. He became the team's coach in 2015, and is currently the only black head coach at the World Cup.
Senegals win was the first for an African team at this year's World Cup, and the significance of this is certainly not lost on the coach, who at 42, is also one of the youngest coaches at the tournament.
"Senegal represents the whole African continent," he said told Independent UK. "We are Senegal but I can guarantee the whole of Africa is supporting the Senegal team. I get calls and lots of people are proud and we are proud to represent the African continent."
He also expressed his support for other African teams, and his belief in their capabilities.
"It's a little bit too early. Winning first match of course means you start at the right pace. The second and third match are also important. I hope Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia and Morcoco will stand up. There is a lot of quality in the other African teams."
"I'm certain that one day an African team, an African country, will win the World Cup," he told BBC Sport.
Gifs of his celebratory fist pump and impassioned gestures during the game have also been making the rounds on social media since Senegal's win. They've become prime meme material.
Senegal's team and their outstanding coach are endeared to Africans everywhere. The Lions' next match is against Japan on June 24, and we will be enthusiastically watching and rooting for them.