Sadio Mane had to be helped off the pitch by his teammates on Saturday after bursting into tears at full-time of Senegal’s clash with Equatorial Guinea.
Unusual scenes at the final whistle saw the Liverpool man left inconsolable despite his side winning 1-0 and having already qualified for the finals of the tournament.
The forward’s upset was seemingly due to the criticism he received from fans inside the ground after missing an opportunity to double Senegal’s lead in the second half.
Boos from travelling supporters once again underlined an overwhelming pressure on Mane to perform for his nation, with the 26-year-old having struggled to carry his sparkling club form onto the international scene.
Senegalese outlet metrodakar report a mounting pressure on Mane as the reason for his reaction after he had been expected to carry his side at the World Cup.
Les chaudes larmes de Sadio Mané à la fin du match face à la Guinée Equatoriale (0-1). Cependant, rien n'indique qu'il est blessé.
Le joueur de Liverpool semble triste à cause de son mauvais match.#Senegal #Liverpool #Can2019 pic.twitter.com/eDx7MOHCay
— metrodakar.net (@metrodakar_net) November 17, 2018
To see a player dedicated to maintaining a tone-setting work ethic shown so little respect is a truly poor reflection of his nation’s fans.
It also marks a sad hiccup after an outstanding year and amid his efforts to rediscover his top form for both club and country.
A welcomed positive late on Saturday saw Mane named on a five-man shortlist along with Mohamed Salah for the 2018 BBC African Footballer of the Year award.