Today we celebrate the 29th birthday of Liverpool and Senegal star Sadio Mane by taking a brief look back on his career story.
From leaving his hometown of Sedhiou at 15 to the global superstar he is today, Sadio Mane’s story is incredible and unlike any other.
Mane always dreamed of becoming a footballer. Not everyone supported his dream, though. Even his own parents doubted it and urged him to concentrate on his education instead. But Senegalese knew what he wanted it, and nothing was going to prevent him.
At only 15, Mane took the long trip to Senegal’s capital city Dakar to pursue his dream and entered the Académie Génération Foot a year later. His professional debut followed in 2012 with Ligue 2 club Metz before he joined RB Salzburg in a €4 million deal only months later.
The 29-year-old made his mark in Austria, managing 45 goals and 32 assists in 87 outings for Salzburg. He helped the club win a domestic double in 2013/14 before leaving for Southampton in a €23m transfer deal, giving him his first taste of Premier League football.
Mane enjoyed a superb two-year spell at St Mary’s and set the record for the fastest Premier League hat-trick at 176 seconds during a 6–1 win over Aston Villa in 2015.
His performances convinced Liverpool to sign him for €41.20m in the summer of 2016. And it’s fair to say that Jurgen Klopp got his money’s worth. After all, Mane has gone from strength to strength at Anfield.
The forward has become a Premier League and Champions League winner, finished as the English league’s joint-top goalscorer in 2018/19, and won the 2019 African Football of the Year award.
Even the likes of Lionel Messi, a player that many regard as one of the greatest in history, rates Mane highly and voted for the Liverpool star in the Best FIFA Men’s Player award for 2019.
"It’s a shame to see Mane finish in fourth place.
"It was difficult to choose a particular player. But I chose Sadio Mane because he’s a player that I like.
"Mane achieved a great year that was exceptional for the entire Liverpool team. That’s why I chose him." pic.twitter.com/Ua7s2fw3Hg
— Ayodeji Ayodeji (@AyodejiX2) December 5, 2019
Mane has also starred for Senegal at international level. He’s represented the national team at the 2012 Olympics, three Africa Cup of Nations, and the 2018 World Cup.
Everyone here on Ace Football wishes Sadio a happy 29th birthday and all the best for the upcoming year.
Here are some of the best tributes on Twitter today so far.
Happy birthday, Sadio! 😁 pic.twitter.com/rSxVNeXU9m
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 10, 2021
Happy 29th Birthday Sadio Mane
🔴 208 appearances
⚽ 93 goals
🎯 33 assists
🏆 Premier League 2019/20
🏆 Champions League 2019
🏆 FIFA Club World Cup 2019
🏆 UEFA Super Cup 2019 pic.twitter.com/AP1empOOPm
— ⭐𝕊𝕖𝕒𝕟 𝕃𝕖𝕠𝕟𝕒𝕣𝕕 𝔸𝕣𝕥⭐ (@seanleonardart) April 10, 2021
Happy birthday Sadio Mane. A legend for club & country, and a great man. He has built a school and hospital in his home village, donated aid to Senegal during the pandemic, is humble enough to help clean his local mosque in Liverpool, and loves the fans ❤️ pic.twitter.com/tofxVoaMEH
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) April 10, 2021