Senegal’s football team arrived home a day after winning the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) to hundreds of thousands of ecstatic and chanting fans in the capital Dakar.
Huge crowds descended on a military airport in the West African country’s capital on Monday, blowing vuvuzelas and waving flags in celebration.
President Macky Sall was waiting at the airport to greet the returning players, who then paraded through thronged streets atop a bus on their way to the presidential palace.
Led by Liverpool star Sadio Mane, Senegal overcame Egypt 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out in Sunday’s final in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde.
The victory marked Senegal’s first success in the tournament and sparked jubilant celebrations across the capital city of three million people.
The government had declared Monday a public holiday in order to celebrate the occasion.
Senegal reached the final of the AFCON twice but the Lions of Teranga never clinched the ultimate prize until Sunday.
Africa’s top-ranked national team and 20th in the world lost the last Cup of Nations final in 2019, falling 1-0 to Algeria in Cairo.
It also lost the 2002 final on penalties to Cameroon, a few months before becoming one of just three African teams to reach a World Cup quarter-final.
“It’s the best day of my life,” Mane said after winning the title. “I’m living a dream. I can’t believe it. The wait was long but finally we did it. We are all happy and proud to win this trophy.”