Sadio Mane : A Vital Force For Senegal

The Senegalese captain commands respect in and out of the field.

Senegalese prolific attacker Sadio Mane has propelled the Lions of Teranga to the round of sixteen at the ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. The Senegalese goal poacher scored two of Senegal’s three vital goals during last Monday’s must win encounter against the Harambee Stars of Kenya at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo. Despite grabbing three points in grand style during their first outing against Tanzania, the Senegalese received a 1 – 0 spanking from Algeria. The defeat did not deter the English Premier League player from remobilizing his teammates. Just like his Liverpool club counterpart Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane’s contributions last Monday were enormous. Apart from scoring, the 10shirted player made several assists and defensive play especially at the midfield where he did combined well with Idrissa Gueye and Henri Salvet. Born 27 years ago in Sedhiou (Senegal), Sadio Mane’s romance with the national team began in 2012 with the Olympic Tournament where his efforts in every match moved Senegal to the knockout stage of the competition before losing to eventual champion Mexico on penalties. In 2015, his ambitions to wear the national colours during the AFCON qualifiers were thwarted by a calf injury he sustained while plying his trade for club side Southampton. He however made a great comeback during the 2017 African Nations Cup in Gabon scoring in each of the first two games for Senegal. At the quarterfinals, he fought a frantic fight against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon but missed a penalty after a goalless extra-time. In 2018, he was part of the Senegalese squad at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia during which he scored his country’s opening goal in a 2 – 2 draw encounter before crashing out of the first round.
At club level, the UEFA Champion’s League winner is said to be a veritable soccer tourist. From his home country football academy Generation Foot, the 1.74m tall right-winger has played for French club FC Metz, German club Red Bull Salzburg, English side Southampton before putting pen on paper for Liverpool. With a record of 92 appearances, 45 goals scored and several assists in three seasons, the Senegalese is one of the most hunted African players in the soccer market.

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