2018 World Cup

What would it mean for Africa — and the world — if an African country won the World Cup?

ESPN FC’s Shaka Hislop says the narrative on African players, and Africa, is starting to shift in the right direction

“I’m certain that one day an African team, an African country, will win the World Cup.”

That’s what Senegal’s coach, Aliou Cisse, the only black coach at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, believes.

As the last African team standing — Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia did not advance to the round of 16 — Cisse said Africa has the quality but the hunt will take time.

“It’s a bit more complicated in our countries,” the coach explained. “We face realities that are not there in other continents.”

No African soccer team has ever reached the World Cup semifinals. Ghana almost made it in 2010 in South Africa, and two other African teams reached the quarterfinals (Cameroon in 1990 and Senegal in 2002, and both lost during extra time).

Said ESPN FC analyst Shaka Hislop, who is providing World Cup commentary for The Undefeated: “Africa regards and celebrates their successes and their disappointments as one, and the soccer world is slowly distancing itself from the narrative that African countries and its players are simply big and powerful and fast.”