Sadio Mané: Celebrating Black Excellence In Football

by Duke Magazine

There is no way African football would be dissected today without making keen reverence to one of the best legs scoring goals and making football fascinating to watch in Europe. To a man who finished fourth for the 2019 Ballon d’Or and ranked fifth and fourth in Best FIFA Men’s Player in 2019 and 2020 respectively, Sadio Mané is indeed a decorated player with many laurels.

Born in 1992, Sadio Mané has established himself as one of the best forwards in world football with his playing his time at Liverpool. In 2011, Mané began his footballing career with Metz, a Ligue 2 club in France at age 19 before making a move to Austrian club, Red Bull Salzburg, at where he won the league and cup domestic double with the club. With a record transfer fee of £11.8 million to the English side, Southampton in the summer of 2014, Mané started gathering a huge momentum of foot work on the pitch.

Did you know? Sadio Mané currently holds the record for the fastest hat-trick in English Premier League history with 2 minutes and 56 seconds (in a 6-1 victory against Aston Villa in the 2014/15 season).

Signed from Southampton in the summer of 2016, Mane’s levels have increased over the years and which have helped to deliver major honors to Anfield.

Following assuming the striking role at Liverpool with the club’s No. 10 shirt, the Senegalese has been firing shots into the net by scoring 26 goals in 50 appearances in all competitions during the 2018/19 season, helping the Merseyside team to win the Champions League, their first piece of silverware since his arrival.

Furthermore, Mané’s total of 22 goals in the Premier League earned him the league’s Golden Boot, along with teammate Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal during that season.

As an astute player who knows his onions on the pitch he was named 2019 CAF African Player of the Year. In the 2019/20 the production of his 22 goals and 12 assists in competitions culminated to the Jürgen Klopp’s side winning the Premier League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.  

As a distinguished flexible forward who allies lightning pace and ruthless finishing with acute tactical awareness, Mane primarily operates from the left of Klopp’s devastating front three alongside the Egyptian Salah and Brazilian Roberto Firmino.

Better known for his quiet and timid personality, his ability to cope with pressure has also been highlighted as one of his main strengths. Mané has widely drawn praise in the media for his intelligent play, passing, and his ability to get into good positions, from which he can score goals or create chances for teammates.

The 29-year-old skipper was cited as one of the Top 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine in 2020.

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