Former Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly dedicated his winning goal against Ecuador at the World Cup to the victims of the landslide on the Italian island of Ischia.
The 31-year-old centre back, who spent eight years with Napoli before leaving for Chelsea in a €38m deal in the summer, was the hero for Senegal after scoring the decisive winner in the 70th minute of their final group stage clash against Ecuador, a goal that sent them to the Round of 16 of the World Cup.
Speaking to beIN Sports after the game, Koulibaly first discussed his emotions after winning the crucial World Cup clash.
“I’m really happy, it’s an emotional moment. We knew it would be a difficult match against a very good team, we fought with great determination to get the victory and we succeeded.
“Now we think about the next match. We are a good group, with many interesting youngsters. We are really happy today.”
The former Napoli defender spoke about the strengths of the Senegal squad.
“We are a group, we are a team, we are brothers. That made the difference. Sadio Mane is a legendary player for us, but we always believed in him.
“We are happy, this victory is for him and for Papa Bouba Diop, today is the second anniversary of his death, we wanted to do something special. We thank his family.”
He touched on how it felt to score at the World Cup.
“I’m really happy, it’s my first goal for the national team. It’s great to score a goal at the World Cup, I’m happy. I want to continue like this.”
When speaking in a press conference later on, Koulibaly dedicated his goal to the victims of the landslide in Ischia. At least seven people have tragically passed away following the landslide, including a newborn baby.
“Because of the landslides there have been many deaths. To Ischia and its inhabitants, to give them strength in this difficult moment, I want to dedicate this goal to them.”