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Demba Ba: Senegal no longer in my thoughts

In-form Shanghai Shenhua striker Demba Ba has given up all hope of international call-up with Senegal after repeated omissions by coach Aliou Cisse.

Ba, 33, has not played for his country since March 2015 and admits it is unlikely he will be picked while Cisse remains at the helm.

“I’ve turned the page and I don’t have a space for the national team in my head,” China-based Ba told Senegalese publication Record.

“I saw the course of events leading up to being snubbed and ignored by coach Aliou Cisse. He simply cast me aside without talking to me.

“So I just concluded that it’s okay and right now the national team is no longer in my thoughts.”

The former Newcastle United and Chelsea star impressed on loan at Turkish side Goztepe this year but was overlooked for the World Cup in Russia.

Despite his last appearance for Senegal coming under Cisse, against Ghana in a friendly on 28 March 2015, Ba continues to question the managerial style of the former national team captain.

He said he had tried to persuade fellow striker Moussa Sow not to retire after the tournament in Russia.

“We both discussed it, but Moussa’s desire to leave had been taken in his mind already,” he added.

“When he tells me what happened at the World Cup, I completely understand his decision 100 per cent.

“I tried to stop him from leaving the national team, telling him that we still need his experience, but I can not blame him [for retiring].”

Born in France, Ba has four goals in 22 appearances for Senegal and played for the Teranga Lions at the 2012 African Cup of Nations.

Senegal are currently top of their 2019 Nations Cup qualifying group but Ba remains pessimistic about their chances.

“I do not think that Senegal can win anything in 2019. And I hope I’m wrong,” he said.

The striker has scored four goals and added an assist in 11 matches in the Chinese Super League since returning to China from Turkey.

Source: BBC

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