Sadio Mane: Liverpool star hails support from Bambali for inspiring him to land African Player of the Year
Sadio Mane has paid tribute to his hometown village of Bambali for the role the people have played to inspire him to become the African Player of the Year.
The Senegalese picked up the honour this year ahead of Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah and Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez.
And Mane insists his family, friends and fans from his village have enabled him to achieve his “dream” to finally be crowned as the continent’s best.
“I can’t describe how they are and how motivated they are especially,” Mane told Liverpool’s official website. “They always push me. If you see those people, you push hard and harder to make them proud because it’s the only satisfaction they have on it. I have to give back what they have done for me.
“I think it was something special for the village because in the village we had some great players but they were never successful.
“When I came to France and that time I was playing second league, the village never had the channel to watch the second league, so everybody was so excited to see me on TV first of all!
“They were praying for me every day to see me at this level because they will be just proud. How things are going and as I get more motivated and [they get] more excited to see me higher and higher, I think I have to sacrifice myself to make them proud.”
Mane is currently battling back from an injury picked up against Wolves.
The winter break has enabled Mane to almost fully recover though with a return against Norwich on Saturday expected. That will ensure Mane is fully fit to face Atletico Madrid on Tuesday in the first leg of their last 16 tie.
This news item was provided by the The Independent - Premier League website - the original link is: https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/sadio-mane-liverpool-senegal-african-footballer-of-the-year-2019-bambali-a9333171.html