Sadio Mane has been a revelation since joining Liverpool, but it is his rise to stardom that is really worth all the admiration it gets.
The Senegalese man has explained his incredible story growing up as a young boy in love with football but with nowhere other than the streets to showcase his talent.
Mane described one man’s reaction to his clothes after he had made the 500-mile journey to Dakar as a 15-year-old in order to take part in football trials.
He told Goal.com: “He asked me ‘are you here for the test?’ I said I was. He asked me, ‘with those boots? Look at them. How can you play in them?’. They were bad, really bad – torn and old. Then he said, ‘and with those shorts? You don’t even have proper football shorts?’”
“I told him what I came with was the best I had, and I only wanted to play – to show myself. When I got on the pitch, you could see the surprise on his face. He came to me and said ‘I’m picking you straight away.”
“I was in the city, just playing ‘on the way’ – in the street or wherever there was a game. That is how I started – just on the roads.”
It seems the forward was destined for greatness even at a young age.
His story is remarkable and one that allows us to truly appreciate his attitude and the way he approaches the game even more.
Football has been a life-changer for him and we are lucky enough to have his raw talent at our club. His story explains his fight and hunger on the pitch and the joy he gets out of playing the sport we all love.
Good first impressions are very clearly Mane’s thing. He has caught the eye from the very off at every club he has been at, which speaks volumes in terms of how determined he is to make the most of the life he is living.
His story has given us a new love for what he brings to the sport and our club.