With only a few weeks to go before the start of the 2019 Egypt African Cup of Nations, Mali’s interim coach Mohamed Magassouba has released a list of 27 players. In an interview with Radio France Internationale (RFI), the recent winner of the French Cup of Nations, Hamari Traoré reveals his great ambitions for this CAN. It should be noted that the CAN will take place from 21 June to 19 July 2019 in Egypt. An edition that will record 24 countries for the first time in the history of the competition.
When he was only 10 years old when Mali hosted the African Cup of Nations for the first time, the Eagles finished in fourth place, young Hamari recalls his fondest memories of this tournament, which until then had been considered one of the best in the history of the tournament, but especially of painful moments: “In 2002, when I was still young, Mali had organised the CAN. I have a lot of memories of this CAN, emotions and pain also, especially when we lost in the semi-final against Cameroon at the stadium on 26 March in Bamako, the future winner of the event. It was hard to accept. But then we ended up in fourth place. The same result was achieved at the CAN Tunisia in 2004. These were moments that touched me a lot,” he said.
Since then, his arrival at the JMG Academy in Bamako, the young Hamari, had dreamed of playing for Mali. On the occasion of his second participation in an African Cup of Nations finals, the winner of the French Cup, aims to do better than his elders: “When I was at the JMG Academy in Bamako, I wanted to wear this jersey. Now that that’s what I’m doing, I’m going to try to do better than my elders, why not set up a CAN with my brothers for Mali? We hope so,” he says.