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Wednesday, 3 April, 2002, 13:22 GMT 14:22 UK
The secret of Metsu's success
Bruno Metsu has listened to his player's advice and problems and won their trust
Metsu has revitalised the Senegal national team
Bruno Metsu has transformed the fortunes of Senegal since his appointment as coach in November 2000.

The 48-year-old inherited a team short on confidence and struggling in their World Cup qualification group, which included Algeria, Egypt and Morocco.

But Metsu quickly reversed his team's fortunes and his time as manager has led to a period of unparalleled success for the national side.

Open Quote
Bruno Metsu's secret is that he listens to everyone
Close Quote
Bounamar Gueye

Metsu had a fairly unspectacular playing career at clubs including Nice, Anderlecht, Lille and Valenciennes. He coached Guinea briefly before answering the Snegal call.

The Dakar Lions have since qualified for the World Cup finals for the first time - and play holders France in the tournament's opening match.

Metsu's team also reached the final of this year's African Cup of Nations, losing to Cameroon in a dramatic penalty shoot out.

And Senegalese Football Federation vice-president Bounamar Gueye, the man who appointed Metsu, is delighted with his team's form since the Frenchman took over.

Bruno Metsu
Being French put Metsu at an advantage
And he has no doubts why the coach has been so successful.

"Bruno's secret is that he listens to everyone - he listens to players, he listens to the federation and he listens to journalists," Gueye said.

"He makes his own decisions but he is very open minded.

"He is also extremely determined, works hard and does not like to lose."

Most Senegalese internationals play their domestic football in France - giving Frenchman Metsu a distinct advantage when he was appointed national coach.

"He knows exactly what the Senegalese mentality is," Gueye said.

Metsu's nationality, willingness to listen and understanding demeanour have also helped to persuade Senegal's key players to commit themselves to the national cause.

Open Quote
Under Bruno's rule, Senegal has reached the summit of African football
Close Quote
Bounamar Gueye
"When he arrived here, we had big, big difficulties bringing the top players who play their club football in France here for internationals.

"It is Bruno's capacity to talk to people that, along with the federation's president, managed to convince the main players to come and play."

After playing France in the World Cup's showcase opening fixture, Senegal will then face Denmark and Uruguay.

It is a tough group for a country competing in their first World Cup.

But the mood is one of optimism in football-mad Senegal.

"Senegal people love football very much and until Bruno arrived they were not happy with results," Gueye said.

"But under his rule Senegal has reached the summit of African football."

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GROUP A
  P GD PTS
DENMARK 3 +3 7
SENEGAL 3 +1 5
URUGUAY 3 -1 2
FRANCE 3 -3 1

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