“Look at them. How can you play in them? And with those shorts? You don’t even have proper football shorts.”
9 years later, the boy matured to make his first ever Liverpool appearance. And toyed with two Arsenal defenders to put the ball into the top corner.
From a 15-year-old owning just a pair of torn shoes to being awarded his own custom-made boots in 2019, Sadio Mane has come a long way.
But unlike any other rags to riches story, Mane’s development has not just been instrumental for his career but for those rooting for him back in his native village.
An absolute talisman leading from the front, Sadio Mane is not just the captain of the country’s football team but someone who substantially works for the development of his people.
Sadio Mane could be anywhere in the world on holiday after a long season…— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) July 28, 2019
He’s currently in his village in Senegal to check on a €270k school he’s financing.
He’s already paid for a hospital, and he regularly gives out money to families. pic.twitter.com/NOkTWka51G
The list of good deeds don’t end here.
If financing a school and a hospital wasn’t enough, Mane has now been paying £70 to each individual household in Bambaly every month.
The contribution was immense in terms of goals and assists. Sadio Mane, by the end of 2019, was noted as one of the best players of the Premier League. Yet the success never went to his head.
Why would I want ten Ferraris, 20 diamond watches or two planes? What will these objects do for me and the world? I built schools, a stadium, we provide clothes, shoes, food for people who are in extreme poverty. I did not have an education and many other things, but today with what I earn thanks to football, I can help my people.
Possibly en route to a first Premier League win in 20 years, thanks to their 14 point lead with a game in hand, Sadio Mane may go down as one of the best Liverpool players in their entire history.
A joy to watch with the ball at his feet, Sadio Mane is certainly a gem even without it.