Liverpool forward Sadio Mane was recently named African Player of the Year and has revealed the inspiration behind his hard work. The Reds winger has attributed the support of friends and family back in Senegal as what keeps him pushing.
Mane revealed this as the driving force to his rise to the top. The 27-year-old has managed to garnish a name for himself last year by scoring 24 goals, providing 6 assist in 36 appearances. Jurgen Klopp’s men who are currently at the top of the Premier League table with 22 points clear are said to have reached such accolades with Mane as one of their key players this season.
Mane joined Klopp’s side from Southampton in 2016 and has been in incredible form ever since. Mane credits his friends and family back in his village of Bambali for his impeccable form and motivation.
“I can’t describe how they are and how motivated they are especially. They always push me,” Mane, who started his career in France with Metz, told Liverpool’s Official Website.
“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 the 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 justly 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.”
After helping the Reds win the Champions League last season, the Senegalese forward was crowned the 2019 CAF African Player of the Year. Mane was up against teammate Mohammed Salah and Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez.
Speaking on winning the award Mane said: “I would say the dream came true. When I was young I was always dreaming to be the best and this year I got it, so I’m really happy.”
“I’m looking forward to performing well again for my team, especially since I’m playing for Liverpool which is a very, very, very big club in the world winning trophies with the team can give you opportunities to win some [awards] like this. You have to perform well to get this [award]. I don’t know if I’m doing well but I’m trying to do my best for the team and for the club!”
Mane recently returned to training after overcoming a hamstring injury. The forward is a key man in Klopp’s squad having started in all fixtures and scoring 11 goals. Sadio Mane also managed to give eight assists for the league leaders this season.
Liverpool will make their Premier League return after the winter break on Saturday when they travel to Carrow Road to take on Norwich. The Reds will hope to extend their unbeaten run as they have won 24 games and drew 1 thus far this season. Klopp’s side has a 22-point lead at the top of the table.
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