Sadio Mane reveals how becoming a footballer was not easy for him and striking a deal with his family became part of his ambitious plan.
Sadio Mane rose from virtual obscurity to become one of the most feared strikers in football. The Senegalese international has not always been the superstar he is today at Liverpool.
Many of football’s most famous names have been in the limelight for years. Marketed as the latest prodigious talent to rise from this academy or the other.
Life for Sadio Mane was very different.
He grew up in the small village of Sedhiou Senegal. In his life story told through the documentary “Made in Senegal” he reveals how being a footballer was not on his family’s agenda.
The Liverpool Echo reports that Mane actually had to cut a deal with his family so he would be allowed to pursue his dream.
“There’s no way they would let me go, not in my lifetime.”
He ended up hatching a plan with a friend.
“So one day I thought it was time, and I talked to a guy from the village. He said, ‘I have a friend in Dakar with a team there’.”
“Just hearing that name, Dakar, which is the capital of Senegal, I thought, ‘of course it’ll be great for me. It’s my dream, I’ll seize the opportunity’.”
“I said, ‘I’m returning to the village on condition that I only have one more year of school. That’s it’. And they respected my decision.”
“After the end of the school year, they decided to find a place for me to play because I said, ‘It’s over now. Now it’s football, football’.”
From Senegal’s Generation Foot side he found his way to Metz in France, before reaching Austria with RB Salzburg and then the Premier League with Southampton.
That was all before arriving on the biggest stage of all with Liverpool. It is there he eventually lifted the Champions League and most recently the Premier League.
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