Ahead of this Friday’s AFCON final between Senegal and Algeria, we need to talk about the African duel between Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez.
It was just last season when we all realized that three African players shared the Premier League’s top scorer award, one of them is Sadio Mane and he is facing Riyad Mahrez on Friday.
Both players are considered illustrious world-class stars in their own right, they are their national team’s biggest hope to win the Africa Cup of Nations final on Friday.
Both squads had a very difficult time getting to this game, they both have these two players as their most valuable and they are fully ready to take on the challenge.
This duel will inevitably give us one of the most exciting in African football’s recent history, players from that continent are taking over the world in recent years.
With those two and other major names such as Mohamed Salah or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, we can safely say that African football is more alive than ever.
The old-school players such as Toure Yaya, Samuel Eto’o, George Weah, Agustine Okocha, and many more can rest easy knowing that these incredible talents are doing their best to leave Africa at the very top.
In order to understand this duel a little better, we decided to give you a small taste of each star that will feature in today’s final that will take place a Cairo International Stadium.
Aquela final de respeito da Copa Africana. Mahrez x Mané. Argélia🇩🇿 x Senegal 🇸🇳 pic.twitter.com/To0oGCVdjw
— Sccalangofc (@sccalangofc) July 15, 2019
Mane would trade the Champions League for this cup.
Given that Senegal has never won the Africa Cup of Nations in the past, it is only natural that Sadio Mane expressed how much he would love to win a trophy with his National Team.
We need to understand that African countries never get a chance to be really competitive in tournaments such as the World Cup.
Usually, this tournament is dominated by the squads from South America or Europe. Never has a national team from a different continent won the biggest competition of them all.
This is how we can understand how Sadio Mane explains that winning this competition with Senegal is even more important than the Champions League he just won for Liverpool back in June.
The winger will get criticized for these statements but we totally get where he is coming from.
“For sure, I would be ready even today [to swap the Champions League for the AFCON],” Mane told BBC Sport.
“Maybe I don’t need to swap when we win it hopefully.”
“We know it won’t be easy but it’s normal, it’s part of football. Algeria is a great team and now I’m just looking forward to playing in the final and to win it.”
“Senegal is more than me of course,” added Mane.
“I know Algeria have a good team and really good players like Mahrez.”
“I think it’s going to be a really exciting final so can’t wait to be on the pitch.”
#AFCON2019 | Ambos VUELVEN a jugar una final, 🇩🇿 Argelia después de 27 años, 🇸🇳 Senegal tras 17. Ellos DEFINIRÁN el título de la Copa Africana de Naciones 2019, MAHREZ VS MANÉ.
— Somos Intergol 2019 (@intergolsomos1) July 14, 2019
Riyad Mahrez is no small rival for Mane.
Sadio Mane had a breakthrough performance last season with Liverpool, he didn’t only win the Premier League’s Golden Shoe.
The Senegal international also helped his squad win the Champions League and get a staggering 94 points in a very competitive campaign against Manchester City.
Those achievements should be enough for any rival to fear what he can do in this Friday’s final. However, Algeria also has its own megastar playing for them.
Riyad Mahrez is no stranger to recognition as one of the best players in the world, he may not have performed that much last season with the Citizens but he is still world-class.
This winger is the biggest reason why Leicester City won that memorable Premier League title from the 2015-16 campaign.
Absolutely nobody denied that he was the best player of the season, he won all the accolades that credited him as such.
We are in for a treat on Friday between these two amazing players, they both have scored three goals in the tournament and they both are ready to play.
Winner takes all in the Africa Cup of Nations final between Sadio Mane’s Senegal and Riyad Mahrez’s Algeria.
#AFCON2019 🏆 final👂 Friday
Like ❤️ for sadio mane
Retweet for Mahrez 🔄 pic.twitter.com/DIdPA27Dtx
— supermane10 (@supermanelfc) July 15, 2019
Who will help his nation win this final, Sadio Mane or Riyad Mahrez? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.