Crystal Palace’s AFCON champion Cheikhou Kouyate receives rousing reception and guard of honour from team-mates – as Senegal star returns to training following triumph in Cameroon and ‘best day of his life’
- Cheikhou Kouyate was part of Senegal’s squad which won AFCON in Cameroon
- The Senegalese won their first continental title on penalties against Egypt
- The midfielder has now returned to Crystal Palace training to much acclaim
- He gave a speech as he laughed his way through a team-mates guard of honour
Crystal Palace midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate received a rousing reception and guard of honour from his team-mates after returning to training following a triumphant AFCON campaign.
The midfielder was a key part of the Senegal squad which claimed their first Africa Cup of Nations crown, beating Egypt in the final on penalties in Cameroon.
Following a celebration and time off, the 32-year-old returned to training at Palace and gave a speech after being given a commemorative shirt by club captain Luka Milivojevic.
Crystal Palace midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate received a rousing reception and guard of honour
Kouyate was in the Senegal squad which claimed their first Africa Cup of Nations title
He said: ‘Thanks guys! Thanks for the support, I am very very happy, next year we can win the league!’
Kouyate has also spoken to the Palace club website about his successful start to 2022 with his country, explaining how the victory was the ‘best day of his life.
‘I can’t explain this happiness,’ he said. ‘It’s unbelievable – it was the best day of my life. The celebrations were too much!
‘It’s crazy because we know it’s the first trophy for Senegal, and for us also it means we are now in the story of Senegal. When we were younger and Senegal were playing, we would support the team. Now you are a player in the team and you bring home the cup.
‘When you see the people’s faces and they are so happy, you can’t explain that. We scored only one goal [in the group stage] and it was a penalty. Everyone says: “Senegal are so bad!” But I think this helped us.
Kouyate and the Senegal team beat Mo Salah’s Egypt side on penalties in the final of AFCON
‘Imagine you win the first game, you win the second game and everyone would say: “Oh Senegal, look at Senegal.” But nobody in this tournament was waiting for Senegal.
‘After three games they said: “No, Senegal will not win anything. They are going to go home.”‘
Kouyate could feature in Palace’s next game, at home to Chelsea, on Saturday afternoon.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk