YEKATERINBURG, Russia (Reuters) - Senegal coach Aliou Cisse was momentarily lost for words on Saturday when asked by a Russian journalist about his growing status as one of the sex symbols of the World Cup.
“I don’t know, you’ll have to ask the ladies,” the 42-year-old replied, laughing, when asked about the intense interest he had provoked among women across the host country.
Clips of the coach’s fist-pumping goal celebrations while directing a smoldering gaze at the camera during Senegal’s opening game against Poland have gone viral, attracting the attention of admirers around the world.
Some fans have likened him online to the Marvel Comics super-hero Black Panther.
“I don’t think I’m a sex symbol at all. There are millions and millions of Aliou Cisses in Senegal and the world,” said the coach with the long braided hair and rock-star looks.
“It’s good to be loved,” he added before returning to fielding questions about tactics for Sunday’s match with Japan.
Reporting by Mark Trevelyan and Shrivathsa Sridhar, writing by Mark Trevelyan, editing by Ed Osmond