Benin international Stephane Sessegnon has finally reaped the rewards after his native country went beyond what they could have expected during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
“It’s the highlight of my career so far,” Sessegnon told FIFA.com in an intern. “We had a great run to the quarter-finals and beat Morocco on the way, but what also stood out for me was the joy and the emotions we shared with our people.
''I’ve never experienced anything like it before. We’d like nothing more than to do it all over again soon.”
“The huge recognition I get from the people of Benin is enough for me. They value me for who I am and that is very fulfilling. I try to repay them in my own way. They give me their unconditional support and in return, I give all I can whenever the national team comes calling.”
“The motivation and the desire to do the job I love are still there,” he explained. “I’ll keep on playing and making myself available for the national team as long as I feel I’m still at the top of my game.”
Sessegnon who has been having a stellar season with Turkish side Genclerbirligi reckons he will not be hanging up his boots soon. His recent form with his native Benin is something sort of memorable especially in their game against Morocco in the Last 16 of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
“That’s honestly not what stands out for me from that game,” he said modestly of his superb performance. “Any player in the team would have deserved to win the award that day.”
Thinking big ahead of the future
“Every single team in Africa has improved and it’s a lot more even than before,” said Sessegnon. “We’re neither favourites nor outsiders. We’re just going to give it all we’ve got and we’ve got just as much chance as everyone else.”
Rounding off our chat, the midfielder added: “The World Cup is a dream for Benin. As for me, I just focus on objectives, and the first one is to show the younger players the way and to help my country move forward.”