Sadio Mane’s Rise From Ashes To Glory

Sadio Mane arrived at the training ground in torn boots and torn shorts. He looked so poor and out of place that the director approached him to find out if he was lost or something. But that was the pivot point that marked the turn around in the life of Sadio Mane who is now regarded as one of the best footballers of his generation.

Sadio Mane is a famous footballer; he known for his finishing, his pace, power, and the ability to create chances. Sadio Mane is also known for his philanthropy; he stands as a giant in this regard because there is hardly anyone else who has touched more lives as a footballer.

But most people don’t know the back story; the Sadio Mane who had to practice street trading as a child to survive. This post tells his story; as an inspiration to others.

Sadio Mane’s Rise From Ashes To Glory

Sadio Mane was born in the small town of Bambali; in Senegal, West Africa. His date of birth is 10 April 1992.  He was born into a poor household; although his family was quite respected because his father was an Imam.

Sadio Mane’s family no doubt wanted him to follow in his father’s footsteps; they would have been equally proud if he had ended up an Imam. However his father died when he was 7 years old, and that sent his family into hard times, while freeing him to pursue his passion.

Passion For The Game

Sadio Mane recounts how he was always present to watch the local football competitions; he even traveled some distance to watch the national team play.

He also loved to run around with his mates playing the game. Even when he was sent to sell on the streets, he often put tray down and ended up playing football on those same streets, until late in the evenings.

Sadio Mane was so good; he was acknowledged as the best in the village; which is why his family later became convinced to help him achieve his dream of playing football professionally.

He stated that his uncle was a great help. He played a big role in helping him find his early footing as a footballer.

The Dirty Kid In Torn Clothes

Word soon came about a football academy in Dakar that was taking in teenage boys. Sadio Mane pleaded with his uncle to let him go; and his uncle did one better; he made the 500 mile journey with him to Dakar.

He was about 15 years old when he made that journey with his uncle; he recounted how he did not get the best reception at the training ground on account of his appearance. Sadio Mane said an elderly man looked at him like he was in the wrong place, and asked him how he could play in those torn shoes and shorts.

After trials on the pitch the same man came up to him and said; ‘I’m picking you straight away. You’ll play in my team.’

But that presented another problem; he couldn’t sleep on the streets. The problem was solved in an uncanny way; he recounts “When I moved to Dakar, I went to live with a family that I didn’t even know!”

African hospitality is indeed wonderful; his family knew someone who knew that family, and on account of that goodwill they were obliged to take care of him; allowing him worry only about football.

Sadio Mane stayed with that family for about 4 years, until he left for Metz in France at about age 19.

Glory Glory Sadio Mane

Metz is an excellent place to grow as a young footballer. The club has produced several great players, and is noted as one of the best academies in France.

After Metz, Sadio Mane went to play in Austria with Salzburg. He impressed at the club, scoring a few hatricks, and winning a domestic double.

He attracted a lot of interest, and by the end of the season he ended up in the English Premier League with Southampton for a £11.8 million transfer fee.

He made a huge impact at the club; one of the things he is remembered for is his record of the fastest hat-trick; which he scored in the record time of 2 minutes 56 seconds. The record before him was held by Robbie Fowler, who scored three goals in 4 minutes and 33 seconds, back in 1994.

Sadio Mane spent two seasons at Southampton, but it was with Liverpool that he became an international star; he joined the club in 2016, and in six seasons he won almost everything there is to win in football. Sadio Mane was in contention for the Balon d’Or in 2021-2022; he was adjudged one of the best footballers in the world.

In 2022, he moved to German giants Bayern Munich on the back of a €32 million transfer fee, which was earned after leading Senegal to her first African Cup of Nations title.

Sadio Mane’s Philanthropy

Sadio Mane has never forgotten his roots; he has done a lot to help the people; thus setting an example for other football stars. Some of his great acts include; his donation of £250,000 to build a school in his home town of Bambali, Senegal, in 2019; and also the donation of £500,000 to build a hospital in Bambali, in 2021.

All of these have come at some personal sacrifice; his use of an old android phone with a cracked screen during his Liverpool days was well documented; and he is not known to be a lover of luxurious cars.

Sadio Mane As A Course Of Study

Sadio Mane’s story teaches that when a person sets his mind and heart to a goal, he can overcome all odds and meet his target.

It also teaches that it is important to remember ones’ roots after achieving success and greatness; one should try to touch as many lives as possible; rather than spending ones’ earnings on things that have no value.

Further Reading: Richest Black Men In The World

Further Reading: Richest Footballers In Africa

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