Time to talk about Sadio Mane, one of the contenders to win the Ballon d’Or for 2019.
Sadio Mane will captain Senegal in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Final against Algeria tonight, as the Lions of Teranga will be looking to win the competition for the first time in history.
The left-winger has scored three goals and noted an assist in the tournament so far, establishing himself as the leader of this incredible Senegalese generation.
Mane enjoyed an amazing 2018-19 campaign at both individual and club level. Individually, the forward won the Premier League Golden Boot award netting 22 times in top-flight English football, while his four goals and three assists in the Champions League helped Liverpool to win its sixth European crown.
— The Gentlemen (@HarounaLB) July 16, 2019
He started out at Senegalese side Generation Foot as a youngster and made his professional debut for Metz in January 2012. After only half a season in France, Mane moved to Austria, signing for Red Bull Salzburg, where he won the Austrian Football Bundesliga in the 2013-14 campaign.
The forward netted 31 goals in 63 league appearances for the Salzburg, earning himself a move to the Premier League, with Southampton being his next destination.
He managed to adjust to life in England pretty easily and made an immediate impact for the Saints, noting 10 goals and four assists in his debut season to help them finish in the seventh place.
Mane was even better in the next campaign, while Southampton finished in sixth, only three points behind fourth-placed Manchester City. His excellent performances attracted the interest of many European giants.
In June 2016 the Senegalese striker joined Liverpool in a £34 million transfer deal, becoming a part of Jurgen Klopp’s revolution at Anfield. It actually turned out really good for both sides, as Mane is a perfect fit for the German’s style of football.
He is a fast, quick and agile player, who is mostly playing as a left-winger. His speed is his number one ability, but his technique and his close control also make him stand out.
⚽️ Premier League top goal scorer
🏆 Won the Champions League
🇸🇳 In the AFCON final with Senegal
What a season for Sadio Mane 👏 pic.twitter.com/MVYUOEYVWs
— Watch LFC (@Watch_LFC) July 14, 2019
Mane actually had problems with his finishing during the most of his career, but he has obviously worked on that in the past few years, with his Premier League Golden Boot award being the proof for the improvement.
The 27-year old has grown into a world-class player last season and he will have a historic opportunity to captain his country to its first-ever Africa Cup of Nations crown.
Is Sadio Mane the best African player at the moment and where would you rank him in the Ballon d’Or 2019 race? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.