Senegal star Sadio Mane is with his team at the World Cup in spirit if not in body after being ruled out with injury, captain Kalidou Koulibaly said Thursday.

Bayern Munich striker Mane’s withdrawal from the squad ahead of the tournament after failing to recover from a leg injury dealt a massive blow to Senegal’s chances of making an impact in Qatar.

The Lions of Teranga lost their opening game 2-0 to the Netherlands in Mane’s absence, and face a must-win clash against hosts Qatar on Friday.

Chelsea defender Koulibaly said Mane, the African Player of the Year, has been in daily contact with the squad and is “keeping the mentality high” among the players.

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