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Senegal and the Golden Pig - The story continues?

Talk of Senegal and all I knew as kid was the 1992 AFCON final which Ghana lost to Ivory Coast on a dramatic penalty shootout. Why Abedi Pele missed the game is another story for another day. 10 years later, Senegal were AFCON losing finalists to Cameron. That crop of players had managed to secure a World Cup qualification too. Their first! Now Dakar was sought after having edged out Casablanca on goal difference. 


With the AFCON lost, Bruno Metsu (of blessed memory) and his boys managed to reach the Quarter Final stage of the World Cup. Their win over France shocked the entire world. Key to the Teranga Lions setup then was number 10 shirted Khalilou Fadiga. He wasn't as popular as Mane is today but he was a true number 10, nimble footed with the ability to play a pass through the needle hole. 

Well, some say he is the reason why Senegal never lost a World Cup match in 90 minutes. In 2002, Just before their game against France,  Fadiga received from the manager at the Yonsin Bosok store in the southern city of Daegu a small gold pig and a letter of reconciliation.
"Carrying this (the pendant) with you will bring you good luck and success. There is a Korean proverb 'after a storm comes calm,'" the letter said.
This was in response to an alleged theft case involving the Senegalese players prior to the start of the tournament in South Korea. Fadiga and some colleagues had apparently laid a bet on who was to take the a necklace which costs $245.  Fadiga, was interrogated by police over suspicions that he had stolen an 18-carat heart-shaped gold five days before Senegal's opening match with France on May 31. But he later returned the necklace and the case ended without any criminal charges.

A gold pig is a traditional good-luck token among Koreans. Store manager Lee Seung- YOUL told AFP: “It was a small gift but I hope Fadiga will like it and his team will do a great job to the end. I hope we meet again.”

Senegal went on to play 5 games at the tournament without a lost in the 90 minutes duration. Even when they lost out to Turkey at the Quarter Final stage it was a Golden Goal. 

At this year's event the West African country is yet to lose a game and seem to be throdding the same path. In 2002, they only won their first game and drew the rest in the normal time. Similarly this year, they have won their first game and drew the next. The past is always there to guide. 

Fadiga was interrogated because he returned the necklace to the store adding that it was a silly joke by himself and his teammates. Don't be surprised at the goals the Teranga Lions have scored. Current coach, Aliou Cisse was the captain of the 2002 team. 

Can the Golden pig lead Senegal to the Semi finals or probably win the ultimate?  Time will tell. 




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