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Liverpool star Sadio Mane is an absolute hero in Senegal and will be worshipped even more after scoring the penalty that secured them a first ever Africa Cup Of Nations title on Sunday.
Mane saw an early spot-kick saved by Egypt's impressive goalkeeper Gabaski but after the teams couldn't be separated in 120 minutes, he made amends in the penalty shoot-out.
After experiencing heartbreak in the 2019 final, the former Southampton man coolly dispatched a history-making penalty to spark some incredible scenes at the Paul Biya Stadium in Cameroon.
Mane will forever be remembered for his wonderful talents on the pitch, but he's also gone above and beyond with off the pitch work in his home country.
The 29-year-old came from absolutely nothing and aged 16, with his parents not allowing him to leave school, Mane packed his stuff and ran away.
He was laughed at his football trials when he turned up in tattered boots and shorts.
But after winning the Champions League, Premier League and Africa Cup Of Nations, nobody is laughing now.
In his village of Bambali in Senegal, Mane donated £200,000 to help finance a new secondary school so that the current generation of youngsters have opportunities.
Le footballeur Sadio Mané a été reçu cet après-midi par le Président @Macky_Sall. L’attaquant de Liverpool a présenté au Chef de l’Etat un ambitieux projet de construction d’un hôpital à Bambali et compte sur l'accompagnement de l'Etat pour le personnel médical. pic.twitter.com/aPBwtY8Iz7— Présidence Sénégal (@PR_Senegal) June 10, 2021
He also paid for a hospital, mosque and sports stadium to be built and has been known to donate money to people who live there.
Sadio Mane visiting a school he is helping to build in his home village of Bambali in the region of Sedhiou, Senegal. pic.twitter.com/W8ElYNLJrw— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) July 28, 2019
When the player's uncle, Sana Toure, presented the cheque, he read out a speech on behalf of Mane and said, "Education is very important. This is what will enable you to have a good career."
When The Telegraph spoke to him about his act of charity in building a school, he requested it be left out of the interview - adding "I do not do this for publicity."
Even now, after all his success, Mane remains humble as ever. He's not too big to help take equipment off the team bus.
Two years ago, footage showed Mane happily helping kit staff out by picking up two crates of water while on Senegal duty.
Sadio Mane helps offload items from team bus.— Saddick Adams (@SaddickAdams) November 14, 2019
This guy is not fake. pic.twitter.com/EREXKUv0Ug
In Liverpool, following a win over Leicester in September 2018, he was spotted cleaning the toilets of a local mosque.
Mane also gifted 300 Liverpool shirts to his home village for the Champions League final that same year.
Prior to scoring the winner for Senegal in a 1-0 win over Guinea Bissau two years ago, Mane was reunited with his childhood friend Solo, who was now working the fixture as a police officer.
¡Otra historia de SADIO MANE! ❤️— Daguito Valdés (@daguitovaldes) November 19, 2020
En Bambali, un joven llamado Solo jugó fútbol con #Mané en su infancia, y tenía una foto para probarlo. Él se convirtió en policía en Guinea-Bissau y se reencontró con la estrella del Liverpool cuando #Senegal visitó ese país en esta Fecha FIFA. pic.twitter.com/kOn5jCLwWG
The two used to play football with one another growing up but hadn't crossed paths for 17 years. While catching up, Mane invited him to Anfield to see him play for Liverpool.
You are told to never forget where you come from and Sadio Mane is a shining example.
Featured Image Credit: Image: Twitter
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