I miss football but life is more important: Mane on COVID-19

SABC News Mane R - I miss football but life is more important: Mane on COVID-19

Liverpool striker Sadio Mane says he has always wanted to help and support his home village ever since he was a child and now he is a millionaire he feels it’s even more important to do so.

Mane grew up in Bambali – a small village in Senegal – and he has been a benefactor in recent years helping build a hospital.

The former Southampton and Red Bull Salzburg striker lost his father when he was only seven years old and with no medical facilities in Bambali his father died in a nearby village.

That painful memory has spurred on Mane throughout his life and in a documentary – “Sadio Mane – Made in Senegal” which is available on Rakuten TV from Wednesday (April 8) – he opens up about his childhood and how he forced his way through the professional soccer to become one of the best players in the world.

In an interview with Reuters, Mane said it had been his mind since he was young to provide for his community so its people could receive medical care and the children could attend school.

Mane has also donated 41 000 pounds towards the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has reported 237 cases so far with two deaths.

The novel coronavirus has disrupted so much around the world and it’s placed the future of the 2019/20 soccer season in doubt, with Liverpool holding a remarkable 25-point lead at the top of the Premier League table, having won 27 of their 29 matches.

The Premier League confirmed last week that the season will only return when the health situation stabilises, leading to some suggestions the campaign could be called null and void.

Mane naturally hopes the season won’t be cancelled and has praised manager Juergen Klopp for his positivity while the Premier League is on hold.

Mane has also welcomed Liverpool’s about-turn on Monday when the club reversed a decision to furlough some of their non-playing staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Premier League would add to the Champions League Liverpool won last season but Mane is still driven by his desire and there’s nothing more he would love to do than help Senegal claim its first ever African Nations Cup and become the first African player since George Weah to win the Ballon d’Or.

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