By Angu Lesley
Football Writer, kick442.com-Cameroon
Retired French midfielder Emmanuel Petit has revealed that he and his mates were under a spell when they faced Senegal in the 2002 FIFA World Cup which led to their one-nil defeat against the West African nation.
Reminiscent May 31, 2002 a star-studded Teranga Lions of Senegal made their bow in the planetary football jamboree against the defending world champions, the Blues of France.
Papa Bouba Diop, El Hadj Diouf, Ferdinand Coly and the rest of arguably the best Senegalese side in the last two decades faced a France side that had won the previous world cup tournament on home soil.
Against the expectation of many Papa Bouba Diop scored in the 30th minutes and there was no coming back for the high profile French side.
For all the industry in the attack, David Trezeguet, Thierry Henry and others couldn’t break the steely Senegalese defence manned by Omar Daf and his mates.
18-years down the line,Emmanuel Petit has divulged that it wasn’t an event as seen by the human eye and it remains difficult to accept.
The former Arsenal defender still lives the moment and feels like it was yesterday. In a recent interview with the Record News Paper,Petit said someone had told him they will be paired against Senegal and will lose by a goal to nil.
“A talisman contributed (he chuckled) . I will tell you something; a year before the World Cup in Korea, I was at a beach in France. A street vendor came to me……He looked at me at close range and told me; ‘you know the World Cup which will played next year right? France will face Senegal and will lose by a goal to zero, because our Senegalese charms are very powerful. You’ll see’. That came to my mind after the defeat and till date, I still think maybe France was under a spell”,Petit revealed.
Senegal surprised the world in that edition of the competition.
Yes it must be said that France was unlucky in the game as they hit the post and the crossbar on at least three occasions all together but the Senegalese were on fire.
France exited that world cup in the group stage while Senegal bowed out in the quarter final.
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