Pape Matar Sarr has been speaking about his footballing journey in Senegal and expressed his desire to win all major trophies, including the Champions League.
Sarr grew up in Thies, which is east of Senegal’s capital, Dakar, and has been a hotbed for footballers, with the likes of Sadio Mane and Habib Diallo also coming from the city.
The Tottenham midfielder revealed that football runs through his blood and that the game was all he knew from a young age.
The 20-year-old told Sky Sports: “I grew up in Thies in a family of footballers. Everyone in my family all played. It felt like the whole world was in love with football.
“One on hand it’s not easy to get spotted, but then again it is – as there are a lot of coaches watching you from a young age and that can only lead to a good pathway to football. That has helped me develop quickly.”
Sarr revealed that his mother, despite her love for football, does not watch the games that he plays as she gets too nervous.
He said: “She’s always been like that. She loves football, but I get why she doesn’t like watching me. It’s difficult to see your son play games with all that pressure, not knowing if I will do well or not.
“But I have a lot to thank her for, she’s supported me a lot – especially since I first joined here. When it was hard at the beginning of the season, she called me up all the time and said to me: ‘Don’t give up, you’ll get there. Just keep working.’
“She’s someone who has pushed me a lot and I haven’t given up here and I am carrying on working. And it’s all starting to pay off now and that’s all thanks to her.”
The former Metz man had to wait patiently for his opportunities at Spurs, which have arrived recently courtesy of injuries to Rodrigo Bentancur and Yves Bissouma.
The youngster has certainly grabbed those opportunities with both hands, but he insisted that he wants both of the senior midfielders to recover quickly given their importance to the squad.
When asked about the injuries paving the way for him to show his quality, Sarr responded: “Honestly, it has been hard for the team. Yes, it has given me an opportunity, we need [Bentancur] and Bissouma so we have had to experiment.
“They are experienced, golden players and we need them for the help of the team, the coach and the club. We are without those who are injured but I’m sure they will come back quickly and stronger.”
Finally, the midfielder did not shy away from voicing his lofty ambitions, admitting that he wants to win every prize he can get his hands on.
He added: “My dream is everything! When I say everything I mean the Champions League, World Cup, and Africa Cup of Nations – I’ve already won that one but I want to do it again for Senegal. African Ballon d’Or, the European one too, the lot!”
Spurs Web Opinion
Sarr certainly has the attributes needed to evolve into a top midfielder and he comes across as someone who is ambitious, driven and keen to learn, which is perhaps why Conte and the coaching staff at Spurs seem to have really taken to him.
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