Football - Europe: Africans in fine form

Habib Diallo
Football - Europe: Africans in fine form

Over the weekend, Strasbourg has undoubtedly ensured its survival with a 2-0 win against Nice. A victory stamped by Habib Diallo. The Senegalese striker scored the two goals of this game, one of them in the first seconds of the match. He also became the third Senegalese to score at least 20 goals in Ligue 1 after Jules François Bocandé and Moussa Sow.

New advice for those who go to the stadium to watch Strasbourg: don't miss the first few seconds of the game, you might just miss Habib Diallo's opening goal. Yes, the Senegalese is a fan of early goals. This Saturday 13 May against Nice (J35), he opened the score in the 40th second. An express goal which is not a first for the former Metz player this season. Indeed, he had already scored in less than a minute of play on two previous occasions. First against Montpellier after 13 seconds. Then after 17 seconds against Reims. In the Ligue 1's fastest goals of the season, the 27-year-old striker occupies 1st, 2nd and 4th place. Only Amin Gouiri (Rennes), who scored after 26 seconds against Lille, is in the top four with his third place.

Moussa Sow and Bocandé in the firing line

In the second half, Habib Diallo scored a second goal, this time from a penalty. Strasbourg (14th, 38 pts) are almost certain to remain in Ligue 1 next season, with a five-point lead over first-placed Nantes with three games remaining. Habib has now scored 20 league goals, his highest tally in the top flight. But with three games to go, he is not stopping there. In his sights, the fox of the surface has two illustrious Senegalese strikers. First Jules François Bocandé (23 goals in 1986 with Metz) then Moussa Sow (25 goals in 2011 with Lille) who are the best Senegalese strikers in Ligue 1 over a season.

Habib vs Boulaye Dia, duel to come

In addition, Habib Diallo is holding his own in his long-distance duel with Boulaye Dia. The latter has scored 15 goals and provided 6 assists in Serie A with Salernitana. They are not in the same league and do not have the same characteristics, but they are both fighting for the honorary title of top Senegalese scorer in Europe and a place in the African champions' attack. For a long time, Habib Diallo was relegated to a supporting role, but he seized his chance in the last round of matches by scoring against Mozambique. The proof that with game time, he can be the killer that Aliou Cisse needs.

As prolific as ever, Habib Diallo can also take advantage of this form to move up a level. The Meinau stadium is certainly warm and welcoming, but the 27-year-old is aiming for more in his career. Habib Diallo, who has scored 41 goals in 100 games since arriving in Alsace in 2020, has boosted his market value with his historic season. The Senegalese international (16 caps, 3 goals) should therefore logically find a buyer. Borussia Monchengladbach, other Bundesliga teams, as well as English clubs are following him very closely.

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