A Senegalese professional footballer, Sadio Mane plays as a winger for Liverpool FC and the Senegal national football team. He began his professional career in 2011 with the French association football club, FC Metz. Mane has been a very important player for his clubs and his national team. He has featured at major tournaments like the 2012 Olympics, 2015 and 2017 AFCON, and 2018 FIFA World Cup.
He was born on the 10th of April 1992 in Bambali, a small village in Sédhiou, Sénégal. As a child, his father forbade him from playing football. But then, Mane was too passionate about the sport and there was no stopping him.
The Early Days of Sadio Mane’s Career
He began his journey to professional football at fifteen when he enrolled at the Académie Génération Foot, a football academy in Senegal’s capital city, Dakar. He relocated to France in 2011 after landing a deal with Metz.
Mane made his professional debut on January 14, 2012, coming off the bench in Metz’s Ligue 2 fixture against Bastia. At the end of the season, he moved to Austrian’s FC Salzburg for a transfer fee recorded as the 3rd highest ever paid to FC Metz. The talented Senegalese winger proved that he was worth every penny spent in obtaining his signature.
Less than two months after joining the club, Sadio Mane netted his first hat-trick for the side in a 3-1 away victory over SC Kalsdorf in the Austrian Cup. He continued in top form for the club throughout the season. Thanks to his invaluable contributions, FC Salzburg ended the 2012-13 season with two domestic titles: the Austrian Bundesliga and the Austrian Cup.
Forceful Departure from FC Red Bull Salzburg
Mane did not make it big without some trouble. He took a grave decision with drastic consequences in a bid to make his way to the greater world of football. Considering his outstanding performances, it was certain that Salzburg had no plans of letting him go soon and this meant stagnation for Mane. To taste the great waters, he had to take the bull by the horns.
Sadio deliberately ditched Salzburg’s training and the Champions League qualifier match. Although this unacceptable action earned him his desired exit from the club, he did not escape the ensuing negativity, especially from Salzburg’s fans. Moreover, Mane did not hit fame immediately, as he only landed an opportunity with a not-so-big Premier League side, Southampton.
Career Breakthrough and Accomplishments
It was in the summer of 2014 that he joined Southampton on a 4-year deal. Mane netted his first Premier League goal in Southampton’s 8-0 thrashing of Sunderland on October 18, 2014. On May 16, 2015, in Southampton’s 6–1 triumph against Aston Villa, he netted three goals in just 2 minutes 56 seconds, setting a new record for the fastest hat-trick in the Premier League. He continued with his goal-scoring spree in the 2015-16 season which he ended as the team’s highest scorer, having netted a total of 15 goals.
Sadio Mane equally caught the attention of several top clubs in the Premier League including Liverpool FC who had been a victim of his impeccable goal-scoring ability. Having caught the eye of coach Jurgen Klopp since the 2012 Olympics, Mane was promptly snapped up by the English club in the summer of 2016.
The Senegalese agreed to a 5-year deal with Liverpool FC for a transfer fee of £34 million which was at that time, the highest ever recorded for an African player. On his Liverpool PL debut, Mane scored the last goal in their 4-3 away victory over Arsenal on August 14.
Details of His Records with Liverpool FC
On December 19, the talented striker netted a crucial goal which granted his team an away victory in a Merseyside derby against Everton. Mane ended the season as Liverpool’s Player of the Season having scored 13 goals in his debut season. He also made it to the PFA Team of the Year.
For the 2017-18 season, Sadio Mane was an intricate part of Liverpool’s formidable attacking trio tagged the “Fab Three” alongside Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. On April 14, Mane surpassed Demba Ba’s 43-goal record to become the top-scoring Senegalese in EPL’s history. He made another history on the 26th of May as the first player from Senegal to net a goal in a champions league final; he scored Liverpool’s only goal in their 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid at the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final.
Sadio kept up with his pace in the 2018-19 season. In November 2018, he renewed his contract with the Reds on a long-term basis. During Liverpool’s 4-2 victory against Burnley on March 10, Sadio scored two of the goals. The second goal summed up to hit a 50-goal milestone for Liverpool FC.
How He Helped Liverpool Win the 2019 UEFA Champions League
On the 13th of March, Mane also became the Reds’ record away-from-home goalscorer with seven goals to his credit after he scored twice in the club’s 3-1 victory against Bayern Munich to reach the Champions League quarter-finals. His next match saw him become the PL season top goalscorer after netting his 17th goal in Liverpool’s 2-1 clash against Fulham. Sadio Mane ultimately helped his club lift the 2019 UEFA Champions League trophy, ending the season with a total of 22 goals and earning himself the PL Golden Boot award alongside Mohammed Salah and Pierre Aubameyang.
Following the kick-off of the 2019-20 season, Sadio Mane progressed in his goal-scoring spree. He netted twice in Liverpool’s 5-4 win against Chelsea on August 14, 2019, emerging the Man of the Match. Mane subsequently hit the 50-match Anfield victories for Liverpool in September after he scored twice in the club’s 3-1 win over Newcastle United.
In January 2020, Sadio became the second Senegalese to receive CAF’s African Footballer of the Year award. Earlier in December 2019, he was placed fourth on the FIFA Ballon d’Or list.
Sadio Mane’s Incredible Charitable Causes
Sadio Mane is undoubtedly one of those successful footballers who believe in letting the society share in what they have. During a 2019 interview with Nsemwoha.com, Sadio pointed out that instead of acquiring fancy cars, diamond watches, and jets, he prefers to spend his fortunes in relieving the sufferings of others, especially in his home country.
He has pulled off numerous philanthropic acts that include building schools, hospitals, and a stadium in his village. Mane also provides food, shoes, and clothing to the poor. He has placed several families in poverty-stricken areas on a monthly salary of €70 and once funded the renovation of the mosque in his village.
Who Is the Girlfriend of the Footballer?
The football star has managed to keep his love life a secret; he hasn’t revealed anyone as his wife or girlfriend. Many have come to believe that the Senegalese footballer is single as he usually shows up at public events alone.
It was rumored in late-2019 that Sadio Mane is in a secret relationship with the fast-rising Rwandan fashion model and entrepreneur, Kate Bashabe. That was after the press spotted the latter watching a Liverpool match at Anfield stadium. The reports which emanated from Senegalese Press had it that the duo met in England. Kate has refuted the claims in an interview with Kigali Today, stating that the rumor bearers “are mad”.