It’s been quite the year for Sadio Mané at Liverpool.
Playing second fiddle to Mohamed Salah in the stats last season, the Senegalese forward showed he was the Egyptian’s equal this time around, scoring as many goals as his teammate in the Premier League (22), doing so in two fewer games.
On top of his personal achievements, Mané also helped the Reds win their sixth Champions League, beating Tottenham 2-0 in the final.
With the 2018-19 club campaign now behind him, the 27-year-old is currently with his national team in Egypt to try and help his country win their first Africa Cup of Nations.
Ahead of the tournament, Mané sat down with France Football, where he discussed many aspects of his career, including his youth, revealing his family didn’t like football.
Even attempting to run away from home to pursue his dream, the forward never gave up, eventually landing on his feet when he was quickly thrown into the spotlight with successful spells at RB Salzburg and Southampton before his move to Anfield.
Despite this, Mané remains as humble as possible, often returning to his village in Senegal to ‘keep himself grounded’, as he puts it.
This love for his country and the national team is what is driving to help them achieve their goals this summer, as the winger admits he would give away almost everything to bring them glory.
He said: “It’s up to us to pull off something great. Of course we’re one of the favourites, we won’t deny that, but that status isn’t enough to get to the end.
“Winning for your country that’s never won the AFCON, it must be magnificent. I’m even ready to exchange a Champions League for the AFCON. The return to Dakar would be extraordinary. It would be my craziest dream”.
Missing the first game of the competition through suspension (Senegal still beat Tanzania 2-0), Mané is likely to make his first appearance against Algeria on Thursday before facing Kenya a few days later.