Diambars football academy co-founded by Patrick Vieira lauded as graduates set for FIFA World Cup
Posted: 19 June 2018 Time: 15:00
Senegal's first FIFA World Cup since 2002 will feature three graduates from the esteemed Diambars football academy co-founded by the Senegalese-born legend Patrick Vieira.
Four players were included in the Teranga Lions initial 23-man squad; Idrissa Gana Gueye of Everton, Papa 'Badou' Ndiaye of Stoke City, Kara Mbodji of Anderlecht and Saliou Ciss of Angers.
However, the latter pulled out due to injury, but it hasn't tainted the celebration of the work the academy has produced since opening its doors 14 years ago.
Co-founded by former France and Arsenal captain and a host of other players, the Diambars football academy aims to promote education and football in the small town of Saly.
And the likes of current Senegal stars Gueye, Ndiaye, Mbodji and Ciss were amongst the first ever members.
"That is an old dream I had since I was a very young player in Diambars academy," Gueye told BBC Football - who was at the academy between 2003 and 2008.
"I am very proud to be a former player of Diambars, being able to represent it and Senegal at the World Cup."
Stoke's Ndiaye, the youngest of the group lauded the initiative of the academy; "It's an honour and it shows that Diambars has done a great job.
"They can help kids, who have dreams, to achieve their dreams - so I think Diambars is a great academy and I hope that boys over there will even do better than us."