Sadio Mane, a Senegalese professional soccer player for Bayern Munich, has won the inaugural Socrates Award for his humanitarian efforts.
The accolade was given to the former Liverpool hitman on Monday during the 2022 Ballon d’Or ceremony.
Beyond football, Mane has continued to make news by constructing a hospital and providing funding for several families, schools, and organizations in his native Bambali. Additionally, he played a crucial role in the nation’s battle against COVID-19.
The Socrates Prize, according to the award’s sponsors France Football Magazine, “identifies the finest social project by committed champions.”
The award bears the name of Brazilian footballer Socrates, who helped organize the Corinthians Democracy Movement in the 1980s to challenge the country’s then-dominant military regime.
After winning the prize, a jubilant Mane could not contain his happiness and promised to do more
“I’m really happy to be a guest tonight,” he said. “Sometimes, I’m a bit shy, but I’m really happy to do what I can do for my people to make things better.”
In the Ballon d’Or competition, Mane, the African Footballer of the Year, came in second place to French striker Karim Benzema.
The 30-year-old scored 23 goals in his final season with Liverpool and earlier in the year helped Senegal win their first Africa Cup of Nations title.
Mane has scored nine goals in 16 competitive games for mighty Bayern Munich since his summer move to Germany.
When the second World Cup of his career, to be held in Qatar later in the year, the Senegalese striker is anticipated to play a significant part for his nation.
Senegalese professional footballer Sadio Mané (born 10 April 1992) plays forward for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and the Senegal national team.
He is renowned for his pushing, dribbling, and pace. He is regarded as one of the best players in the world and among the greatest African players of all time.
Mané started his professional career at the age of 19 with Ligue 2 club Metz, but left after just one season to join Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg in 2012 for a sum of €4 million. In the 2013–14 season, Red Bull Salzburg won the domestic league and cup double.
Later same summer, Mané moved to Southampton of England for a then-club-record cost of £11.8 million.
In a 6-1 victory over Aston Villa in 2015, he there established a new Premier League record for the quickest hat-trick, scoring all three goals in 176 seconds.
Mané joined Liverpool, a rival Premier League team, in 2016, reportedly for a cost of £34 million. In 2018 and 2019, he assisted the team in reaching the UEFA Champions League Final, which they went on to win.
In addition, he tied for the league lead in goals scored in 2018–19, earning the Premier League Golden Boot. Mané then assisted Liverpool in winning the 2019–20 Premier League, ending their 30-year league title drought.
He became the third African to achieve the 100-goal mark in the Premier League in October 2021.
In the 2019 and 2022 Ballon d’Or competitions, Sadio Mane placed fourth and second, respectively. In The Best FIFA Men’s Player competition, he placed fifth in 2019 and fourth in 2020.
Why was Sadio Mané Given The Socrates Award?
The 30-year-old received the Socrates Award in recognition of the work he has already accomplished in Senegal, his country of origin. He built a hospital costing €530,000 and a school worth €270,000 as part of his work in Bambali, his hometown.
Due to his collaboration with Orange, he is also able to pay his family €70 per month for maintenance, give them free clothing, and give them access to the 4G network.
Along with winning the Socrates award, Mane came in second place for the Ballon d’Or, which was won by Karim Benzema of Real Madrid. He was the second African to reach the podium, following George Weah, who took first place in 1995.