IO – Senegal Liverpool F.C. star Sadio Mane has been chosen as 2019’s African Footballer of the Year, beating out colleague Mohammad Salah and Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez.
“To be honest, I love to play football more than to be in front of many important people to speak,” he said rather nervously as quoted by Tribuna. “I’m really happy and at the same time I’m really proud to win this award. I would like to thank my family, especially my uncle, who’s here today. My national coach, my national team, the staff, the federation. Liverpool Football Club, my teammates, the staff, everybody.
“It’s a big day for me.”
“I would love to thank all of the Senegalese people. They’ve been for me all the time. They push me,” he added, extending his gratitude to the people of his home village of Bambali.
“This award is for you all and for my people, everyone who supported me,” he concluded.
Mane has been the pride of Senegal and its people, but not just because of his footballing skills is he loved by the Senegalese.
Locals in Mane’s village, Bambali, even held a gathering to watch their idol win the award.
It’s not a surprise that he beloved by the people in his village as he himself has never forgotten his roots, once building a school worth IDR 4.1 billion. He has also built a hospital, mosque and stadium.
Mane also donates IDR 1.2 million per month to underprivileged families in the village, alongside cloths for all the children.
“Why would I want 10 Ferraris, 20 diamond watches, or two planes? What will these objects do for me and for the world?
“I was hungry, and I had to work in the field; I survived hard times, played football barefooted, I did not have an education and many other things, but today with what I win thanks to football, I can help my people.”
“I do not need to display luxury cars, luxury homes, trips and even planes. I prefer that my people receive a little of what life has given me.” (rp)