We look at some little-known facts about one of the players likely to be a key contender for the African Footballer of the Year award in 2022 in this article.
Yes, we are still months away from learning who will be named African Player of the Year this year, but Sadio Mané is one of the players we expect to be in the race for the continent’s most prestigious individual award.
Mané is without a doubt one of the best footballers in Africa, if not the world. With his present form, particularly after leading Senegal to Africa Cup of Nations triumph in Cameroon and assisting Liverpool to the English League Cup, Mané might easily become Senegal’s all-time finest player by the time he retires from football.
But did you know that if Mané’s family had their way, he would not have played football?
Because his family rejected of his goal to become a professional footballer, Mané ran away from home when he was 15 to undertake a football trial in Dakar, Senegal’s capital. Amazingly, he passed the trials, and the rest of the story is well known.
It’s worth noting that I just described Mané’s family, not his parents. That’s because, as a child, Mané stayed with his uncle because his parents had a lot of children and couldn’t afford to meet his basic necessities.
Did you know that the 2019 African Footballer of the Year shares the same birthday as Ian Callaghan, Liverpool’s all-time appearance leader? Former midfielder Callaghan has the record for most appearances for The Reds, with an amazing 857 appearances in all competitions for the Anfield landlords.
Finally, did you know that Mané owns the record for the fastest Premier League hat-trick?
Mané broke the previous record of 4 minutes and 33 seconds set by Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler against Arsenal in 1994 on May 16, 2015, while playing for his former club Southampton.
In a game against Aston Villa, Mané scored thrice in 2 minutes and 56 seconds, breaking the previous record of 4 minutes and 33 seconds set by Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler against Arsenal in 1994.