Senegal-born Pape Cheikh Diop pledges allegiance to Spain

Pape Cheikh Diop has declared his intention to represent Spain at international level over Senegal.

The Dakar-born midfielder moved to Spain at the age of 14 in 2011. Diop has represented Spain at the U18, U19 and U20 levels and was a key member of the squad that won the Uefa European U19 Championship in 2015.

“I have been called by Senegal several times, but I remain committed to Spain” Diop told MARCA.

“Of course, I can never forget my origin, I am Senegalese, but I also feel Spanish.

“Spain has given me everything and I want to give back in return. I am very happy with the decision I’ve made.”

The 21-year-old kicked off his European career at Club Internacional de la Amistad and Montaneros CF which paved a way for him to join Celta Vigo in 2013 where he featured for the youth team and first team.

In 2017, he switched to Lyon on a five-year deal in 2017.

However, Diop remembered his African roots and disclosed how he is working to improve the situation of things in his first local club.

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“Solar FC was where it all started for me and I still have interesting memories,” he recalled.

“Now I try to help out with everything I can: with clothes, kits, balls and whatever I can. The conditions are not easy down there and we have to help them.”

So far this campaign, the central midfielder has been a regular in Bruno Genesio’s squad with five appearances including his Uefa Champions League debut against Manchester City on September 19.

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