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LEOPARDS: Desabre Names 26-Man Squad For World Cup Qualifiers

DR Congo national team coach Sebastien Desabre has named a strong 26-member squad for this month’s 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Mauritania and Sudan.

The Frenchman has named a star-studded roaster with usual call-ups in captain Chancel Mbemba, striker Cedric Bakambu while striker Yoane Wissa from Premier League side Brentford has returned to the team after being left out of the last internationals.

Leopards newbies in goalkeeper Dimitry Bertaud, Charles Pickel, Brian Bayeye and forward Simon Banza have also been recalled after making their international debuts in last month’s set of friendlies in Europe.

Turkish-based Besiktas defender Arthur Masuaku is the only notable absentee from the squad having suffered an injury while featuring for his club.

The Leopards are expected to resume camp in two weeks time with their opening Group B qualification encounter against Mauritania set for 15th November in Kinshasa.

Desabre and his charges will then travel to face the the Crocodiles of Sudan on 19 November at the Benina Martyrs Stadium in Benghazi, Libya where the latter will be hosting its home matches due to ongoing security instabilities back home.

The two encounters will be the Leopards’ final competitive matches this year before heading to the Ivory Coast for the 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations kicking off in January.

Full Squad;

  • Goalkeepers (3)
    Lionel Mpasi (Rodez, France), Dimitry Bertaud (Montpelier, France), Baggio Siadi (TP Mazembe)
  • Defenders
    Gédéon Kalulu (Lorient, France), Joris Kayembe (Genk, Belgium), Vital N’Simba (Bordeaux, France), Chancel Mbemba (Olympique Marseille, France), Henock Inonga (Simba SC, Tanzania), Rocky Bushiri (Hibernian, Scotland), Brian Bayeye (Ascoli, Italy), Dieumerci Mukoko (Chernomorets Odessa, Ukraine)
  • Midfielders
    Aaron Tshibola (Hatta Club, UAE), Charles Pickel (Cremonense, Italy), Edo Kayembe (Watford, England), Meschak Elia (Young Boys, Switzerland), Silas Katompa (Stuttgart, Germany), Gael Kakuta (Amiens, France), Theo Bongonda (Spartak Moscow, Russia), Samuel Moutoussamy (Nantes, France), Grady Diangana (West Bromwich Albion, England), Glody Makabi Lilepo (Valenciennes, France)
  • Strikers
    Yoane Wissa (Brentford, England), Cedric Bakambu (Galatasaray, Turkey), Fiston Mayele Kalala (Pyramids, Egypt), Jackson Muleka (Besiktas, Turkey), Simon Banza (Sporting Braga, Portugal)
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