He totally wanted to attend the party when Bayern Munich didn’t want him to leave pre-season camp in Washington. However, after facing DC United and taking control on Wednesday night, the Senegal international won his case and headed to Rabat, the venue for the CAF Awards. This determination was to give spectators a little idea of the winner since the other two players, Mohamed Salah and his compatriot Edward Mendy, did not move.
But here it is, on Thursday evening, at the Mohammed VI Technical Center, the 30-year-old star won his second trophy for the best African player of the year in his career (after 2019). So three years between the first and second awards, but with the status of “title holder” Sadio Mane appeared in front of the audience. Because after 2019, the next two releases were canceled due to the health crisis. While Edward Mendy certainly deserved the honor last season with his success in the Champions League, this year no one could steal the award from Sadio Mane.
Winning with Senegal the final title
The new Bayern Munich striker has walked on water all year long, whether at club, selection or in the most important competitions. It is not for nothing if he has long been considered a serious contender for Karim Benzema in the race for the Ballon d’Or. Decisive in the tournament, SM10 was particularly crucial in the title race or in the Champions League by being the Reds’ most offensive component of the season (23 goals, 5 assists with Liverpool). When Mohamed Salah received an even worse shot in January, it was Mane who fulfilled his coach’s expectations.
But this new crown is equivalent above all to the African Cup of Nations that Senegal won. His victorious penalty kick in the final, Sadio Mane continued to carry his penalty kick in the competition. This was proven by his three goals and assists, as well as his mentality when he opened up the situation to Cape Verde in the Round of 16 when he suffered a minor brain injury after a violent trauma. To many observers, this continental moniker is associated with Sadio Mane. While the country has never won the African Cup of Nations, SM10 will still be the first player to bring glory to his country. He said it himself last February. “I won the Champions League and some other titles, but this is the most important to me. It is more important to me.”
summer full of emotions
Crowning the cake, Sadio Mane also provided qualification for the 2022 World Cup by converting the decisive penalty during the play-off games against Egypt by Mohamed Salah. Al-Masry also finished second in the CAF Awards 2022. As a symbol, after losing the African Cup of Nations final against Mane and seeing his dream of playing in the new World Cup fade away. But this year was definitely Sadio Mane’s year. The Senegal international will also have an emotional summer with this trophy and his move to Bayern Munich.
“I am honored to be present at this party here for the fifth time in a row. I would like to thank our president and coach Aliou Cisse without forgetting my teammates and selection as well as my Bambali family, friends and relatives. I don’t even have the words tonight”he said upon receiving the trophy, before going to a press conference. “As I said from the beginning, I am very happy to win the title because it is not easy. I would like to thank my teammates because without them it would not have been quite possible like the club and my elective. I thank everyone for the support. Because they are all behind me from the start and even more since the victory in the African Cup of Nations. And qualifying for the World Cup. Thank you to them. Thank you very much to them as well as to the Senegalese journalists present in the room..