Keita happy to lead by example
Mali captain Seydou Keita
The central midfielder has been involved all over the park and has scored two of his sides three goals so far in the tournament, with Mahamadou Samassa also finding the back of the net once.
“I try to help and support the other players and I also try to lead by example,” said Keita.
“The coach will plan for the game and he will tell me how to play but I always try to go forward as much as I can to help the team win.”
The 33-year-old has won many accolades during his time in Europe playing for teams like Sevilla and Barcelona and he admits that he would like to win some silverware with the Eagles.
However, he believes he still has some time on his side and refused to consider this as his last Nations Cup.
“It’s true that I haven’t been able to win titles with the national team but we are in the semifinal and we have a chance to win,” he said.
“I still have some time before I reach 40 years so I think I still have a couple more of Africa Cup of Nations to compete in so that I can win and then retire calmly.”
The former Barcelona player then played down the effect of Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi, who also coached Mali from 2008 to 2010, as he believes this could benefit both sides.
“It’s true that the coach of Nigeria knows us very well, but we also know him very well,” he said.
“It’s going to be a very tough game but we hope that we are going to play well so that we may win it.
“This is our second straight time in the semifinals and this time we’d like to go even further and win the cup.”