Liverpool’s defeat in the Champions League final against Real Madrid (0-1) will likely deprive Sadio Mane of the Golden Ball award. In Senegal, we are as eager for this event as we are for the future at the Teranga Lions captain’s club, announced with increasing insistence at Bayern Munich.
Sadio Mane will turn his back on the 2021-22 season by looking at a record that many would envy, although the Senegalese striker will respond that he lost in the Champions League final to Real Madrid and watched Manchester City narrowly win the Premier League. a point. So suppose he can’t be completely happy. This is how we get to know the great heroes. Lifting the FA Cup and League Cup with Liverpool, Sadio Mane nonetheless earned some consolation awards with Liverpool. Then came the crazy year for Senegal, winning the first African Cup in its history against Egypt in the final and lashing the Pharaohs again during the World Cup qualifying match in Qatar. Naturally, the former Southampton player was one of the greatest architects of his two great moments of joy for the Senegalese people.
Omar Diallo: “Let him take at least second place in the Ballon d’Or”
but failed reds in the face of meringue It also means that his goal of becoming the second African player to win the Ballon d’Or (after Liberian George Weah in 1995) has been a huge success. The trophy looks more and more promising for Karim Benzema. In Senegal, the case appears to have been (almost) heard. Omar Diallo, a former goalkeeper for the national team (23 selections between 1997 and 2004), wants to believe, like many of his compatriots, that the issue has not been fully heard, while acknowledging that Benzema will score a very impressive victory: “He won the La Liga title, the Champions League, where he was the top scorer (15 goals), and the Nations League with France… Benzema carried Real several times. Honestly, with the season he is spending, no one will be able to say that he does not deserve it. But in Senegal, we will not understand that Mane is not at least in second place, and necessarily on the podium.” The former Lyon won two major titles with his club, while Mane topped his list with the African Cup of Nations. “In my eyes, CAN still lacks recognition. It is a competition that brings together the best African players playing in the world. I think the CAN will not be enough for Mane to win the Ballon d’Or” continues the former goalkeeper of Al-Jarf Club and Raja Casablanca.
Internationally on eight occasions (2001-2022), Alassane N’Dour does not want to downplay the fact that Sadio Mane is in the discussions. “We are proud of what Mané is doing. The African who applies for the Ballon d’Or does not happen very often. We cannot say today that he will not get it, the more patriotic Senegalese think so, but if Benzema wins it, there will be nothing to worry about.” develops a former Saint-Etienne midfielder.
Bayern? “He left one institution for another” (Olivier Perrin)
The other main topic driving conversations in Dakar, Thies or Ziguinchor, the capital of Casamance of the world’s most famous Senegalese, has to do with his future at the club. For a few days, the departure of Bayern Munich was mentioned, while Mane is under contract with Liverpool until June 30, 2023. At the moment, it seems that the transfer compensation offered by the Bavarians (30 million euros) does not fit. It meets the expectations of the English, estimated at no less than 41 million euros, but the idea of a move to Bavaria from the former Salzburg is starting to gain momentum. “He was leaving one institution to another. Moving from Liverpool to Bayern is nothing but a dip. In Munich, Sadio will be in one of the best clubs in the world, perfectly organized, surrounded by very good players, and with the prospect of winning other titles. This proves that he is a great contender.” , French Olivier Perrin, Director of Génération Foot, the Dakar Academy where Mane began his training, intervenes. In Liverpool, the Senegalese have won the Champions League (2019), the Club World Cup (2019), the European Super Cup (2019), the English Premier League (2020), the Cup and the League this year. “He’s been with the Reds for six years, so maybe he feels it’s time for another challenge. Bayern, who play attacking football, can match him very well.” Perrin adds.
The reigning German champion, who at the same time has to manage the wishes of Polish striker Robert Lewandowski (33), who is linked to his club until June 2023, made the former Messin a priority for him. “Honestly, if he leaves Bayern Munich and chooses him, he will make a good decision. I imagine him at Bayern Munich more than at Real Madrid, whose style of play suits him less.” Diallo continues. “We are talking about Bayern, but there are other clubs that might be interested in him, including Real, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain … From a sporting point of view, if he goes to Munich, he will not lose., because he will develop into a team capable of winning the Champions League.We get involved. On the other hand, he may lose in terms of vision, because the Premier League follows more than the German League, even if he is sure to play in full stadiums. » The kind of detail that a good sports project, paired with a good contract, can quickly relegate to the rank of anecdote.
Written by Alexis Belbolt