Sissoko backs Abdoulaye Doucoure to make Mali impact

Former Liverpool midfielder Mohamed ‘Momo’ Sissoko believes Everton’s Abdoulaye Doucoure could be key if Mali are to qualify for the World Cup for the first time.

Doucoure is set to make his Mali debut against Tunisia on Friday in the first leg of their World Cup play-off.

The 29-year-old had rejected several previous call-ups by Mali as he hoped to play for France, the country where he was born.

“I think he’s the top player now he’s joined the national team of Mali and I think it’s the best moment for him,” Sissoko said.

“He will bring all the experience, all his assurance, he will bring lots of good things for this young team.”

“Abdoulaye Doucoure is one of the top players for Mali right now. I hope he is going to help all of them to reach the World Cup.”

Doucoure played for France at every level between under-17 and under-21 but never for the senior team and qualifies for Mali through his parents.

Sissoko, who was also born in France but opted to play for Mali, admits that the Eagles will have to improve after they lost to Equatorial Guinea on penalties in the last 16 at the recent Africa Cup of Nations.

“We know we didn’t do well there, we know we miss something,” he explained.

“We don’t have enough experience, we lost against a smaller team, so I think all the players want to prepare for these two games to forget the disappointment of the Nations Cup.”

Sissoko is hopeful that a win for Mali can provide a much needed boost to a country.

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Herman Nnyanzi 'The Analyst' is a Ugandan multimedia sports journalist who started his career in 2017. He has a genuine strong love for sports and expertise, especially football. Contact me on +256704472629 or +256786403603

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