This Sunday evening, Mané and Senegal won their first African Cup of Nations. A feat largely due to the Liverpool striker.
He posed as a leader throughout the African Cup of Nations, won last night by Senegal. However, Sadio Mané could very well have sunk, this Sunday, after a missed penalty at the start of the game. After only 4 minutes of play, while Abdelmonem had caused a penalty, Mané had decided to take care of it. But Gabaski had finally intercepted the shot from the Senegalese.
What does this miss matter: later in the evening, at the end of the penalty shootout, Sadio Mané dared to be the last shooter to offer his team victory without trembling.
During this CAN 2021, Mané was a talented player, but above all a real leader.
Sadio Mané carried his team, sometimes masking collective failures (and it does not date from this CAN).
Rarely has a leader assumed so much in the field. Always present (even when he misses). The insurance to take the last penalty, that shows everything. Big !
- Romain Molina (@Romain_Molina) February 6, 2022
The Teranga and Liverpool Lions striker has shown he can, single-handedly, transcend a Senegal, which had established itself as the "eternal loser" of continental competition. Observers were not mistaken: Mané was logically elected best player of this edition of the tournament.
What is striking with Mané is above all his character. The player is not lacking in cold blood: against Zimbabwe, on January 10, during the opening of the competition, he took the penalty for victory in added time. And that's what we recognize the champions: they know how to take their responsibilities.
Despite his status as a leader, Mané is not really an exuberant player. On the pitch, he gives everything without necessarily showing a very extroverted personality. But in the locker room, he knows how to show temperament and harangue his teammates, even if he is not captain.
📸: Reproduction/Instagram/Mane pic.twitter.com/KFrySfducV
- SPEAR! (@lancenet) February 7, 2022
Today, however, Sadio Mané alone represents the Senegalese national team. Against Burkina Faso, by distilling an assist and scoring a goal, the Liverpool player almost single-handedly bent his opponents.
When the Senegalese collective was failing, he was able to count on his striker who never hesitated to fall back to help his team. Which probably explains why Senegal only conceded two goals in the competition.
And the results of the group stages – one win and two draws – show that Mané was more than just a squad member: without him, the Teranga Lions might never have reached the final.
From now on, a whole nation adores its hero. And Mané pays it back by declaring that "the CAN will always be by far the best trophy" to win.
“I have always said it and I will repeat it, the CAN will always be by far the best trophy I will win. The most important. The rest is a bonus”: Sadio Mané
The little tear rose. 😍
Well done Champion. Well deserved!!!
— BAKS 🍓🍫❤️ (@countessekatee) February 7, 2022
Next meeting for Sadio Mané: the play-offs for the Football World Cup, against… Egypt. A revenge during which Mané will certainly want to show himself again.