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.”