Motivational speeches are the bedrock of sport, lasting words that aim to inspire the team and lift the spirits, but Guinea were on the receiving end of a warning ahead of AFCON.
The midfielder will be hoping to be part of only the second Guinea squad to progress beyond the quarter-finals in the competition and then go better than the runners-up of 1976.
They’ll first have to progress out of Group B that contains Sadio Mane‘s Senegal, Malawi and Zimbabwe, and they have good reason to after a bizarre warning from the country’s interim president, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.
“Bring back the trophy, or you reimburse the money that’s been invested in you,” he said, as quoted by Ghana Soccernet, to the team at their sending off ceremony.
As a motivational speech go, it could do with some work but as for words of warning, it definitely leaves nothing to the imagination.
Mamady Doumbouya became Guinea’s interim president in October after leading a coup against President Alpha Conde and bid the team farewell with his words and a flag ceremony earlier in the week.
Keita will join them in Cameroon ahead of their first fixture on January 10 against Malawi, departing Liverpool at the same time as Mohamed Salah and Mane.
The competition starts on January 9 and runs until February 6, with the earliest return date for any Red coming on January 19/20 after the conclusion of the group stage.