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Sadio Mane has revealed that during the Africa Cup of Nations, he volunteered to sign a contract to take responsibility if he died.
Mane suffered a head injury after colliding with Cape Verde keeper Vozinha in the last 16 match, the Senegal winger was substituted as a result of the collision.
Senegal won and were through to the quarter finals, but Mane was a doubt after suffering concussion in the previous game, his club at the time, Liverpool had written to Senegal’s football federation to ensure that Mane be rested for five days, meaning he would have missed the quarter final clash. Mane however, was never going to let that happen. He was so determined to play he was willing to risk his life.
He told Pro Direct Soccer France: “When I got injured against Cape Verde and I had concussion, I never talked about it that day.”
“Liverpool put pressure on the federation and wrote a letter to Fifa that I needed at least five days rest so that meant I was to miss the quarter-finals.”
“Our national team doctor also had to follow those rules. When they told me that, I called the coach and told him ‘The doctor does not want me to play but you have to put me in the starting 11’.”
Sadio Mane 🗣— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) July 6, 2022
“I hope we will win the World Cup, because it would be exceptional. But winning the AFCON, I have never felt that in my life and I never think I will feel the same. I have ambitions with Senegal: do my best to win the World Cup and win the AFCON.”
He added: “I called the federation president and told him we need to have a meeting because I have to play. I could give up my life.”
Mane was ready to sign a contract saying that it would be no one but his won fault if he had died on the pitch. Eventually, he was declared fit by the team doctors.
Mane added: “I know I shouldn’t play but let us have a contract. It will be my responsibility, I will sign.”
“If I die, they have to say it is my fault. No one’s fault. But they said ‘Sadio, you cannot play’ but I said ‘no, no, it is out of the question’.”
“It was around 1am or 2am, everyone panicked and I said ‘Coach, I know even you are scared. Just write a letter that says I played voluntarily in case I die or whatever happens’. Everyone was tensed.”
“I did not sign the paper but they finally said ‘no, no it’s not possible’ but I was ready to do it so the doctor said ‘Okay, let us do a scan in the morning the day of the match.’”
“In the morning, we did the scan, we sent it to the Confederation of African Football, they checked with the doctor, there was nothing so the doctor said "Okay, you can play" because to see me sign a paper would be complicated for him as well. Thank God everything went well.”
Mane went on to be the hero as he scored the winning penalty in the final shoot out against Egypt.
Now, Mane will be focused on the season ahead, he left Liverpool for Bayern Munich and will be hopeful that he can hit the ground running straight away.