sadio mane africa football player of the yer 2019 caf awards premier league liverpool

Liverpool’s Sadio Mané Named 2019 African Player of the Year

Sadio Mané is a Senegalese football player, playing for Liverpool as a winger since 2016. He started playing in the Premier League in 2014.

African Player of the Year 2019

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards recently hailed Mané as the 2019 African Player of the Year because of his performance at last year’s campaign. 

He helped Liverpool win the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League. Mané also led the Senegal team to its Africa Cup of Nations finals appearance.

This was his first time winning the award. He was also nominated in 2017 and 2018 but lost to his teammate, Mohamed Salah. 

Mané and Salah are instrumental to Liverpool’s success at the UEFA, scoring 34 and 26 goals, respectively. He appeared in 61 matches while Salah, in 55 matches.

Mané dreamed of becoming a football player

True enough, he has come a long way from being the child whose father forbade from playing football. 

None from his village, Sédhiou, has ever played professional football. His parents thought he’s just wasting time. They wanted him to become a teacher.

He went to Dekar for a football trial without telling them. Upon learning about it, they demanded that he come home. It was too late then—he already earned a spot at Académie Génération Foot, a football academy in Senegal.

Below are some worth-knowing details about Mané.

Facts and stats of Mané

  • Earns respect of his colleagues because of his work ethics—he’s the always person to arrive on a training day
  • Has own chef because Mané is admittedly a bad cook, but was a healthy eater nonetheless
  • Holds the record for the fastest hat trick in Premier League at 2 minutes 53 seconds
  • Scored his 50th league goal on his 100th Premier League appearance
  • Has extended his record run of  matches without defeat at 50 matches in 2019
  • Considers El Hadji Diouf, also a Senegalese football player, and Ronaldinho as his heroes
  • Was the second Senegalese to win the prestigious award, after Diouf who won the same award in 2001 and 2002
  • Very charitable, donated $260,000 to build a school in Senegal while also giving €70 per month per household for people living in extreme poverty

As if these stats are not enough, here’s a proof of Mané’s display of greatness on the pitch.

Earning the respect of the football community

Mané is a complete player, but it’s his style of play that gains the respect of other football players – teammates or not.

Dutch legend Danny Blind thinks of him as “the super modern player.” He compared him with Cristiano Ronaldo. He also praised the Senegalese for his scoring abilities, using both head and feet and combining that with astonishing sprints

Lionel Messi admires Mané. He even backed his 2019 Best FIFA Men’s Player nomination. He said, “Mané achieved a great year that was exceptional for the entire Liverpool team. That’s why I chose him.” Messi also mentioned, “It’s a shame to see Mané finish in fourth place.”

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FIFA Foundation and Its Most important Programmes

FIFA Foundation started in March 2018 and is currently headquartered in Zurich. Its goal is to help in promoting social change throughout the world. More specifically, it aims to raise awareness and support for the reconstruction of damaged sports infrastructure in different parts of the world.

The foundation is in infancy, and yet it already launched at least 93 social projects to date.

The FIFA Foundation Board, which was currently headed by Yuri Djorkaeff, a former French international, oversees the activities of the foundation.

FIFA Foundation programmes

1) Community programme

The foundation primarily supports organisations that utilise the sport as its main tool for social change. This is more so if the goal is to improve the lives of the underprivileged children and their families.

Every year, the foundation invites non-profit organisations to apply for grants that it can use to further their causes. Such causes and advocacies may include but are not limited to education, health, leadership, and gender equality, among others.

2) Recovery programme

FIFA Foundation also provides support to communities struck by natural disasters or any unforeseen events in the form of mobilisation and emergency funding. 

This is particularly applicable for the recovery of the damaged or destroyed sporting infrastructure. 

3) Festival

In 2018, the festival was conducted in Red Square in Moscow where young representatives from 48 non-profit organisations from 38 countries were brought to the FIFA World Cup. The more than 300 participants exchanged, learned, and played football, celebrating the transformative power of football.

Speaking of learning, the event kicked off with its own Young Leaders’ Skills Development Programme. It is a three-day event where the young leaders from each delegation engaged in exchange and skills development. They trained as mediators, mentors, and communicators.

With this said, the festival was a great display of how football can empower the youth. Indeed, it can bring social changes to anywhere these are needed.

With a tagline of Equality, Teamwork, and Fair Play, the FIFA Foundation Festival 2018 also included a football tournament and awarding ceremony. 

The tournament was the highlight of the festival where 24 mixed-gender teams with eight players each were formed to battle one another. The competition took place at Olympiets.

4) Football for girls

This has been the foundation’s signature project – the football for girls in the Middle East.

Young girls experience gender and race-based barriers and breaking down such barriers means giving them equal opportunities. The foundation allows the girls to participate, forging a bright future for them in the process.

This alone empowers young girls and women in the Middle East as well as the communities where they live. Participation is historically limited in these areas because of both cultural and religious barriers. 

5) Legends as ambassadors

FIFA legends are part of the board. They also contribute to making the football dreams of the youth come true.

Their goal is to give back as ambassadors of both the foundation and its projects. They also commit to the projects and programmes, travelling to target areas where their presence is needed.

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If you are to recommend a project or programme to the FIFA Foundation, what would it be? Please let us know.

most charitable football players didier drogba

7 Most Charitable Football Players Worldwide

If you want to know who is the most charitable football player, you’re in the right place.

Here are the names that every football fan needs to know.

Most generous football players

1) David Beckham

Beckham is one of the greatest and most generous football players. He once worked with the UNICEF and Help for Heroes. He also founded Malaria No More, along with other prominent footballers in the world. 

On top of these charitable endeavours, he started the Victoria and David Beckham Charitable Trust with his equally famous wife, Victoria. The trust provides financial assistance to underprivileged children and disabled persons. They also help charities in need.

2) Lionel Messi

Messi is a UNICEF ambassador for several years now, since 2010. He chose to work on projects that directly uplift the welfare of disabled children. He also contributed significantly to one of its education-related programmes in Nepal, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. 

Messi also provided financial assistance to community projects in Argentina. He also paid for the reconstruction of a hospital in his hometown.

He started the Leo Messi Foundation. The trust primarily engages in establishing medical and football centres in Argentina, Spain, and other countries.

3) Nwankwo Kanu

Kanu started the Kanu Heart Foundation in his homeland Nigeria. He wants to make sure that children needing surgery, particularly those who are suffering from cardiac ailments, receive assistance when they need it.

The foundation was founded in 2000 and has already assisted more than 500 children who underwent open-heart surgeries.

4) Mesut Ozil

Ozil gave his prize money to various charities after winning the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He gave a total of £237,000 to pay for the medical costs of children who underwent life-saving procedures. 

He did the same thing in 2017 when he worked with My Shining Star programme, which caters to the needs of children with cancer. One of the child beneficiaries became his guest at a football match. 

5) Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo has a generous heart also. He raised €1.5 million in 2012 by auctioning off his Golden Boots award. The money went to building a school on the Gaza Strip.

He is also involved in fundraising event hosted by Save the Children, raising money to assist in earthquake reliefs in Nepal in 2015. 

6) Hector Bellerin

Bellerin has already donated big sums of money to various advocacies. He did so by auctioning off his football boots. 

In 2018, he donated £19,050 to the British Red Cross. It was a challenge wherein he pledged to donate $50 for each minute he played in the Under 21 European Championships. He played for a total of 381 minutes.

7) Didier Drogba

Drogba started his own foundation, which is one of the most active foundations in South Africa. The foundation partners with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in promoting charitable causes in the region.

One of the greatest accomplishments of Drogba, however, is bringing peace in Ivory Coast, his home country. When the country qualified for the World Cup in 2006, the team used it as a platform to make a public plea to stop the civil war in the country. 

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Who else would want to add in this list of the most charitable football players in the world?