AFRICANS IN EUROPE

Mane opens up on family neglect at tender age

Senegal captain and Liverpool forward Sadio Mane during an exclusive interview with Supersport revealed of his family’s non support on his footballing career during his young age

Mane who’s been a key figure of the Jurgen Kloop coached side talked in depth of his struggles and lack of family support during his footballing career while in his teen years. He laments his struggles and the hardships he underwent inspired him much more to give his best;

“It was a tough moment for me when I was in Senegal, especially when I was young. I was born in a village, I grew up there, and they don’t like football,” Mane told SuperSport. My family preferred me to go to school all the time and study. At that time I was only focusing on being a football player. They told me ‘How can you be a football player? It is not possible. This village is far from Dakar, how can you go? We don’t even have family there. But I knew I was going to be a football player, I just didn’t know how. It was the only thing I was doing, the only thing that I knew. Always training, training, training, training.

“They never ever tried to help me until the day I left my school, I was fifteen or sixteen. I said ‘Now is enough, I have to stop school – I want to be a football player, I have to focus’. They said ‘Are you crazy, how?’. I said ‘I don’t know but I will go to Dakar, I don’t know anyone but I can play on the street and hopefully someone can find me. I think they thought I was joking but one day I packed all of my luggage, stopped school and went. I didn’t tell anyone but my best friend.

For one week nobody saw me in the house, or at school, so they tried to call everywhere. They went to my friend and finally, he told them that I went to Dakar.

“They found me, they took me from Dakar and took me back home.”

When asked where his passion for football came from, Mane added: “It is from when I was born. When I was three or four only football was in my head. I went for 10 years and nothing changed, only football, football, football.

“The strange thing is, nobody, played football in my family before.”

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