Chelsea defender Khalidou Koulibaly has revealed the reasons behind his decision to snub World Champions France to play for Africa Champions Senegal.
The former Napoli stalwart was eligible to play for both countries, but he opted to represent the Teranga Lions of Senegal.
“It was a big, big choice because I could have played with the French national team, but at 23 or 24 years old, I decided to play for Senegal because they were waiting for me.
“I spoke with the coach, he gave me good motivation and good reasons to come, and I also spoke with my family.
"The most important people were my parents – they told me that I have to do what I want, but when I told them that I wanted to play for the Senegal national team, I saw the light in their eyes, and I knew it was a good choice.
“When I arrived, and I saw the other players, it was like they were my family because we were all used to eating the same things at home, to speaking the same language at home.
"So for me, it was like I was home! I said to myself, ‘Why didn’t I come before? They are like my brothers.”
Koulibaly has been a key part of the Senegalese setup since making his debut in 2015.
He has represented the team at three Africa Cup of Nations and one FIFA World Cup tournament in 2018.
The 31-year-old has played 64 games for Senegal, but he is yet to open his goalscoring account for the Teranga Lions.