Sadio Mane has emulated his former Liverpool FC teammate Mohamed Salah as he reached a special milestone in his career.
Bayern Munich forward Mane was named the African Footballer of the Year on Thursday, which was his second straight award. The Senegalese star joined a list of legends who won the prestigious award on two or more successive occasions, which also includes Salah, who did so in 2017 and 2018.
After Mane clinched his maiden award in 2019, the awards were suspended for the next two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Former FC Barcelona stars Samuel Eto’o and Yaya Touré are the players who have won the award the most times (four wins each), with Chelsea legend Didier Drogba having won it twice.
Mane won the award this year by beating Egypt’s Salah and compatriot and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
“I am very, very happy to receive the trophy this year. I thank the Senegalese people, and dedicate this trophy to the youth of my country,” said Mane on receiving the award, BBC Sport reported.
Mane won two trophies with Liverpool and reached the UEFA Champions League final last season, just like Salah. The Senegal national also had the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) victory on his CV, which his side won by beating Egypt in the final in February. Interestingly, it was Mane who scored the winning penalty.
Mane once again netted the decisive penalty as he booked a place for Senegal in the Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022. Salah’s Egypt was once again their opponent.
The 30-year-old forward recently parted ways with Liverpool after spending six memorable seasons at Anfield. Bayern Munich paid around $42 million as they signed Mane on a three-year contract.
Mane netted 23 goals and provided five assists in 51 competitive appearances for Liverpool last season as Jurgen Klopp’s side clinched two trophies. They missed out on the Premier League title by a point and reached the Champions League final but lost 1-0 to Real Madrid.
Mane finished his Liverpool career as the club’s 14th leading goal-scorer. He netted 120 goals and 48 assists in 269 competitive appearances for the Reds between 2016 and 2022.