In 2002, Senegal took the FIFA World Cup by storm, blasting into the quarterfinals. The West African squad were clear underdogs in the tournament.
"Nobody gave Senegal a chance in South Korea and Japan," Christophe Bongo reflects. But the Lions of Teranga were strong.
There were no star players in the group. They [were] all leaders wanting to make their country proud.— Christophe Bongo
They stunned defending champions France in the opener - something even more meaningful to the squad than just a World Cup win. Almost all of Senegal's players played in the French league, and 80% of them held dual citizenship between France and Senegal, but had chosen to play for the Senegalese national team.
Losing this game was not an option. It was bigger than winning the World Cup itself.— Christophe Bongo
And win they did. Draws against Denmark and Uruguay and a win against Sweden put them in the quarterfinals against Turkey, which is where their dream ended.
After 2002, Senegalese football entered a dark spell, with the Lions of Teranga missing the next three tournaments.
But now, they have their sights fixed on Russia.
Bongo reflects on Senegal's road to Russia, including a dramatic turn of events that saw Bafana Bafana knocked out of the chance for a spot in the FIFA World Cup 2018.
This is African Pride.
This article first appeared on 947 : African Pride Podcast: Senegal's World Cup Dream