AFCON 2021: Senegal hero Mane named Player of the Tournament

Senegal’s Sadio Mane has been named 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Most Outstanding Player after guiding the Lions of Teranga to glory at Olembe Stadium in Yaounde.

The Liverpool star was named as the top player in the championship thanks to his starring role in the Lions of Teranga triumph.

About Sadio Mané

Sadio Mané (born 10 April 1992) is a Senegalese professional footballer who plays as a winger for Premier League club Liverpool and the Senegal national team. Mané finished fourth for the 2019 Ballon d’Or, and in the award for the Best FIFA Men’s Player he ranked fifth in 2019 and fourth in 2020.

Mané began his professional career with Ligue 2 club Metz at age 19, but he departed after a solitary season to join Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg in 2012 for a fee of €4 million, winning a league and cup domestic double in the 2013–14 season. Later that summer, Mané transferred to English club Southampton for a club record fee of £11.8 million. There, he set a new Premier League record for the fastest hat-trick, scored in 176 seconds in a 6–1 win over Aston Villa in 2015.

Mané signed for fellow Premier League side Liverpool in 2016, for a reported fee of £34 million. He helped the side reach back-to-back UEFA Champions League Finals in 2018 and 2019, winning the latter. He also finished as the league’s joint-top goalscorer in the 2018–19 season, winning the Premier League Golden Boot. Mané then helped end Liverpool’s 30 year league title drought by winning the 2019–20 Premier League. In October 2021 he scored his 100th Premier League goal, becoming the third African to reach the landmark.

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At international level, Mané has registered 29 goals in 87 appearances for Senegal since his debut in 2012, and currently ranks as his nation’s joint-record goalscorer, and tied for third in all-time appearances. He represented Senegal at the 2012 Olympics, as well as the 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021 editions of the Africa Cup of Nations. In the 2019 iteration, Mané helped Senegal to a runners-up finish, and a year later, was named African Footballer of the Year.

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At the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, Mané scored the decisive penalty to give Senegal their first victory in the competition and he was also named the Best Player of the tournament. Mané also represented his nation at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, in their second ever appearance in the competition. Mané was cited as one of the Top 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine in 2020.




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