While the Lions of Teranga have quality in abundance, there is one player who stands out above the rest. Where El-Hadji Diouf was their attacking spearhead in the 2000s, that role is now performed by Sadio Mane. Since winning his first cap in 2012, the livewire No10 has become the side’s most skilful performer and took on the captain’s role at Russia 2018.
Only Kalidou Koulibaly enjoyed more playing time in 2018 than Mane, who, at the age of only 26, has already established himself as a Senegal great. His country’s seventh-highest all-time scorer with 15 goals, the forward is also its tenth-most capped player with 58 appearances.
A CAF African Player of the Year runner-up behind Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah on Tuesday, for the second year running, Mane has lots of personal goals to fulfil. “I’m going to work even harder! I’m going to do everything I can to win. That’s my childhood dream,” he told the media, revealing that Senegal’s winning mentality is really taking root.