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Sadio Mane was Senegal's hero on Sunday night, slotting home the winning penalty in the Africa Cup of Nations final, but to one child in particular he was a hero before that.
Mane scored the winning penalty, having already missed a spot kick thanks to Mohamed Salah, then picked up the Player of the Tournament award along with his winners medal.
The Liverpool forward scored three goals on the way to Senegal picking up their first AFCON title, having twice lost in the final, but it was his goal in the last 16 that stood out.
That was because he scored just a couple of minutes after being knocked out in a collision with Cape Verde's goalkeeper, earning the keeper a red card, and was subbed off almost immediately after the goal.
Mane was then taken to hospital to get checked up, and it's there that the 29-year-old provided a wonderful moment for a family, and their ill child.
According to Senegalese outlet Sene Web, the forward overheard a family in distress in the hospital as their child had been in an accident with a motorcycle and they couldn't afford his hospital fees.
The Liverpool star offered to pay the 400,000 FCFA in order for the child, who had 'broken bones and injuries all over his body,' to get the treatment.
Sadio Mane and GK Vozinha are fine and on the road to recovery after their heads collided in Senegal’s 2-0 win over Cape Verde.— Sports Radio Brila FM (@Brilafm889) January 25, 2022
The GK received a red card while Mane scored the first goal.#brilafm #CAN2021 #CAF #AFCON #SENCPV #TotalEnergiesAFCON2021 #TeamSenegal #TeamCapeVerde pic.twitter.com/1gkAq7VNNX
Whilst the money might 'only' have been around £515, it was clearly money that the family needed from Mane and it's very typical of the man that he would happily pay it.
The former Southampton forward has often been praised for how humble he remains, despite his position as one of the world's best players, and once helped staff take bags off the Senegal coach when other players didn't.
Speaking about amassing wealth through football in the past, Mane said he had no interest in expensive cars and instead wanted to help people in Senegal.
"Why would I want ten Ferraris, 20 diamond watches, or two planes? What will these objects do for me and for the world?" he said in an interview in 2019.
"Why would I want ten Ferraris, 20 diamond watches, or two planes? What will these objects do for me and for the world?
"I built schools, a stadium, we provide clothes, shoes, food for people who are in extreme poverty. In addition, I give 70 euros per month to all people in a very poor region of Senegal which contributes to their family economy.
"I do not need to display luxury cars, luxury homes, trips and even planes. I prefer that my people receive a little of what life has given me."
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