Senegal’s player Sadio Mané, will be at the World Cup in Qatar, despite injuries. A true icon of African soccer, he found himself on the podium of the Ballon d’Or 2022 and received the “Socrates” Award for his charity work in his native village in Senegal.
It is a great relief for the Senegalese and the fans of the Lions of Teranga. Sadio Mané, the team’s captain will be at the World Cup from November 21 to December 18, even if he will miss the first games following a recent injury. the Senegalese will represent Africa in Qatar, along with Morocco, Tunisia, Ghana and Cameroon. But it is Sadio Mané who will be watched closely. A true architect of his team’s victory at the AFCON in February 2022, winner of the CAF Awards ceremony for the African footballer of the year, he never ceases to shine and to seduce in international soccer.
But above all, since George Weah won the Ballon d’Or in 1995, Sadio Mané is the first African player to reach the podium of the most prestigious award dedicated to footballers worldwide. Just behind Frenchman Karim Benzema, he won the “Socrates” Award on October 17, not only for his exceptional season, but especially for his personal investment in societal and charitable projects in Senegal. “I’m really happy to be here. Sometimes I’m a little shy, but I’m happy to do what I can for all these people back home to make their lives better,” he said on the stage of the Châtelet theater in Paris, in his traditional attire.
“Many years later, in 2018, he returned to his village. This time with a 234,000-euro cheque to finance the building of a high school”
The Senegalese footballer was born on April 10, 1992 in the village of Bambali, near Sédhiou, in a rural environment. He quickly developed a passion for football, but his father, an imam, wanted to dissuade him from playing. But by dint of persuasion, and after a runaway, he managed to get the support of his family, and began his international career. Many years later, in 2018, he returned to his village. This time with a 234,000-euro cheque, to finance the building of a high school. Among other things, he encouraged boys and girls’ equal access to playing soccer. He also financed the village hospital and made a donation to the Senegalese National Committee for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the World Cup just days away, Africans are preparing for a big show. Senegal will face the Netherlands on November 21, before taking on the host country, Qatar, on November 25. Sadio Mané, 30, is considered the best player in the history of Senegal’s national team. And one of the best in the world. But his altruism makes him a special player, with universal values that go beyond the boundaries of soccer.