Aliou Cisse is hoping the memory of Bruno Metsu can inspire his Senegal players at the World Cup - and cement his own status as a pioneer for a new breed of black coaches.
Cisse, the only black coach at the World Cup in Russia, was the captain under shaggy-haired Frenchman Metsu as Senegal reached the quarter-finals in 2002 on their maiden appearance on the global stage.
And, after paying tribute to Metsu, who died aged 59 in 2013, Cisse is hoping to become a positive influence for change.
Speaking ahead of Tuesday's clash with Poland in Moscow, the former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder said: "It's true I'm the only black coach in this World Cup, but really these are debates that disturb me.
"Football is a universal sport and the colour of your skin is of very little importance.
"It's good to have a black coach here but it shows that we have quality coaches among us. I represent a new generation that would like to have its place in African and world football.
"We are very good with our tactics and we have the right to be a part of the top international coaches."
Entraînement au Stade du Spartak. 15 premières minutes ouvertes au public ! Puis, le reste, dans le secret de la tanière ! pic.twitter.com/9st8IVMo9r— Cynthia Nzetia, FIFA (@FIFAWorldCupSEN) June 18, 2018
Asked if he would seek to replicate the team talks given by Metsu in their run to the last eight 16 years ago, Cisse added: "Bruno's speech was Bruno's speech. Now I'm the coach, I have my own way of managing the team.
"Before this match my thoughts go to Bruno, he did so much for Senegalese football. He qualified us for the first time, when I was captain, and now I'm coach but we know Bruno is looking down and we can feel that."
Cisse sees very few similarities between this Senegal team and the one he skippered in Japan and South Korea.
He said: "People want to compare 2002 and 2018 but mentalities have changed, education has changed, the way people think has changed.
"The 2002 team gave a lot of joy to the country and the current team will do the same thing. I fully trust them."
Cameroon in 1990 and Ghana in 2010 have also reached a World Cup quarter-final but that remains the best result achieved by an African country at the tournament.
But, despite admitting the continent has different "realities" to other parts of the world, Cisse remains convinced an African team will one day lift the trophy.
"Twenty years ago, African teams came just to be a part of the World Cup," he explained.
"Things have developed now. We've shown that we can do much more, we can participate and have excellent results, we just need to go to the next phase.
"It takes time. We have realities that aren't there on other continents, but we have a lot of quality and I'm sure that one day African teams will be able to win tournaments like Brazil and Germany do.
"We have no inferiority complex with European countries, you see lots of African players at major clubs."
|Sarri wants new central midfielder and hints at Chelsea stay for Cahill|
|Nantes sign former Manchester United full-back Fabio|
|Marcelino rewarded with one-year Valencia extension|
|Warburton retires: Bale leads social media tributes to Welsh great|
|Mistakes do not define me, says Chelsea boss Sarri|
|Saints and Tigers to honour Horne with Twickenham clash|
|I want to keep Hazard, says Sarri|
|Europe must stop American juggernaut at Carnoustie|
|Joshua planning for heavyweight ´legacy´ – starting with Povetkin|
|Warburton retires: Wales and Lions star´s career in numbers|
|Matching ´ridiculous´ Tiger not on McIlroy´s radar|
|Spain sent me World Cup SOS, claims Benitez|
|Ozil, Gundogan critics should ´shut up´ - Klopp|
|McIlroy plans to play carefree at Carnoustie|
|Pakistan thrash Zimbabwe to secure series win|
|Warburton retires: Gatland salutes Wales and Lions great|
|Sturridge determined to stay at Liverpool|
|Mbappe is an alien – Varane|
|Warburton retires from rugby|
|India to assess Bhuvneshwar as Bumrah makes Test squad|
|Injured Craddock passes $100,000 in donations at Tour de France|
|WATCH: Perez taunts team-mate after audacious training goal|
|Alison Becker tweets ´I´m joining Liverpool´... but all is not as it seems|
|F1 Raceweek: Hamilton chasing down Schumacher - German GP in numbers|
|Notorious Carnoustie holds fond memories for legendary Watson|
|Rooney refused to be ´dead weight´ at Everton|
|The Open 2018: Molinari, Rahm and the in-form contenders at Carnoustie|
|Marsh interested in Australia leadership roles|
|United can challenge City for Premier League title, says Rooney|
|MLB All-Star 2018: Seven things you missed at Midsummer Classic|
|American League win home run-filled MLB All-Star game|
|Dragons lure Sims from Broncos|
|Cassano: Ronaldo like Nadal, Messi like Federer|
|Lakers´ Ball undergoes successful knee surgery|
|´We kill them, Messi or no Messi´ - Pogba´s pre-Argentina World Cup speech revealed|
|Cardinals suspend GM Keim for five weeks after DUI|
|Dalic: I can coach Brazil or Barca but Croatia my favourite|
|Warriors coach Kerr extends contract|
|I´m ready to bust him up - Miller calls out Joshua after New York confrontation|
|CAF Champions League Review: ES Tunis and TP Mazembe set the pace|
|Mixed day for seeds in Newport as Muller progresses|
|Rams sign Cooks to five-year extension|
|Cowboys’ Randy Gregory reinstated by NFL|
|Verdasco survives Swedish Open scare as Paire is picked off in Umag|
|US Open announces record prize fund for 2018|
|Stosur wins battle of former grand slam champions in Gstaad|
|Emery is Arsenal´s best signing, says Pires|
|Brewster commits to Liverpool with long-term deal|
|Panama boss Gomez steps down after World Cup|
|No Chelsea agreement for Golovin, claims CSKA president|
|Root looks right at home as England ease to series victory|
|Brighton sign Mali midfielder Bissouma from Lille|
|Kaka backs Brazil boss Tite after ´excellent´ World Cup|
|Alaphilippe the toast in France as Van Avermaet increases Tour lead|
|Shkupi 0 Rangers 0: Gerrard´s men advance despite dour draw|
|Khazri ends Sunderland nightmare as Saint Etienne swoop|
|The Open 2018 diary: Rose lets Rio go as Rahm goes ´Lefty´|
|Lampard raids Chelsea and Liverpool in Derby double swoop|
|Balotelli returns to Nice training after Marseille talks stall|
|Owens wants to play in the CFL, says agent|
|I don´t like thinking too much - Johnson|
|Toulon president fined as French club receive suspended points penalty|
|Top of the flops - Mickelson plays exquisite trick shot over man´s head!|
|Kerber targeted Wimbledon after 2017 disappointment|
|England´s World Cup heroes given dedicated parking spots|
|Insigne prefers Messi to new Juve star Ronaldo|
|Koepka enjoys playing with a chip on the shoulder|
|Ryan Hall to leave Leeds Rhinos amid reports of NRL move|
|Hamann slams Lahm for Low criticism|
|Hart named in Manchester City squad for United States tour|