After several months of convalescence, Sadio Mané will return to the field. The Senegalese will certainly play the CAN qualifiers against Mozambique in March.
It was September 27, nearly five months ago. Sadio Mané wore, for the last time before a long period of convalescence, the Teranga Lions jersey. It was a friendly against Iran. Injured in the right fibula during a league match against Werder Bremen, the Bayern player was quickly operated on and then hoped to compete in the World Cup. Mané finally had to forfeit and his recovery took many months.
But the Bayern player took his troubles patiently: after rehabilitation sessions, last January, Sadio Mané was finally able to train with the ball. He then chained the individual sessions, before being able to resume collective training in recent times.
The Senegalese star has missed his team, since she has lifted the Africa Cup of Nations trophy in 2021. But also to a whole country. If Mané took his injury with philosophy, ensuring that "these are moments that happen in the life of a footballer or a top athlete", he was able to benefit from the help of those around him.
The Teranga Lions striker – 34 goals, a record – said he was surrounded during his recovery. Facing the Minister of Sports of Senegal, Mané explained: "Even if it was difficult, there was my family, friends, the Federation, everyone was behind me".
Double confrontation against Mozambique
And the serious injury of Bayern number 17 is just a bad memory. After resuming training, Sadio Mané is ready to "find the fans, the football, the atmosphere, score goals and in the end win".
It will necessarily start with a recovery with Bayern. In the league or in the Champions League, the Senegalese hopes again to be decisive with his team. But Senegalese fans are relieved to see the striker return at the right time.
Because the Teranga Lions will resume their journey towards CAN 2024. The 24th and 28th of March are indeed the 3rd and 4th days of the CAN playoffs. Senegal will play the Mozambique team twice. With four points on the clock, Mozambique could well be the outsider of group L.
If the Senegalese have already won their first two meetings, the return of Sadio Mané could be a breath of fresh air for the Lions, who need to qualify as soon as possible to prepare well for the next CAN. Because now, after a World Cup played without him, Mané will have to find the automatisms with his teammates.
Last month, Sadio Mané was elected, for the seventh time, best Senegalese player playing abroad of the year by the Senegalese sports press. He will now be able to show on the pitch that he has lost none of his football.