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Sadio Mane On Making His Home Town Proud

Fresh after winning the CAF African Player of the Year, Mane opens up about what it means to him, and the people where he grew up.

Liverpool Training Session Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Sadio Mane is having a stellar campaign. Before going off injured a few weeks back, he was joint-top scorer for the club alongside Mohamed Salah. This, of course, was after finishing joint-top with Mo for Golden Boot honors in the Premier League last year. And winning the Champions League. And all of these things culminated with the Senegalese winger being crowned CAF African Player of the year.

As Jurgen would say, he’s in a good moment.

After winning the award, he wanted to dedicate it to the people who helped get him there, the ones who supported him from the beginning in Senegal.

“I can’t describe how they are and how motivated they are especially,” he told the club’s official website. “They always push me.

“If you see those people, you push hard and harder to make them proud because it’s the only satisfaction they have on it. I have to give back what they have done for me. I think it was something special for the village because in the village we had some great players but they were never successful.

“When I came to France and that time I was playing second league, the village never had the channel to watch the second league, so everybody was so excited to see me on TV first of all!

“They were praying for me every day to see me at this level because they will be just proud. How things are going and as I get more motivated and [they get] more excited to see me higher and higher, I think I have to sacrifice myself to make them proud.”

The village that helped raise him should be proud. Besides being an excellent footballer, he also seems to be a genuinely good person. He’s humble, and charitable off the pitch.

And on the pitch he has a burning ambition and competitive edge that makes him one of the best attackers in the world. That competitive edge will no doubt be raging that Mo Salah was able to inch ahead of him in total goals this campaign, and will be eager to catch back up when he returns from injury.

With Mo and Roberto Firmino looking sharp lately, and Mane coming back, the already incredible season could end with a real flourish.