– Mane says he would trade his Champions League medal for Africa Cup of Nations triumph
– The forward has enjoyed a sensational year so far, emerging joint-winner of the EPL Golden Boot with 22 goals, and lifting the UCL
- Mane’s Senegal are among the favourites to be crowned continental champions this summer
Senegal and Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has revealed he would prefer to trade his Champions League winners’ medal with the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) trophy.
The forward is itching to win AFCON with Lions of Teranga for the first time in history.
Currently in Egypt for the 32nd edition of AFCON, Mane’s Senegal are listed as favourites for the biennial tournament – the best result for the Lions of Teranga so far is a semi-finals finish in previous editions.
Thus, winning the cup in Cairo on July 19 will be the icing on the cake for Mane, who has no doubt that the AFCON trophy would ranked the highest of his accolades.
Mane emerged joint-winner of the Premier League Golden Boot with 22 strikes.
He also lifted the Champions League with the Reds to sum up a sensational year so far.
Speaking about his target in Egypt, Mane told France Football (via GFFN), that returning to Senegal with the AFCON trophy will be a dream come true.
“It is up to us to achieve something great. Of course, we are one of the favourites, we cannot hide from that. But this standing is not enough to go all the way.
“Winning with my country, which has never won the Africa Cup of Nations, that would be magnificent. I am even ready to exchange a Champions League to win an Africa Cup of Nations. The return to Dakar would be extraordinary. This is my biggest and craziest dream,” Mane noted.
Mane reflected in his upbringing in Senegal and spoke of how he grew up without support from his family to play football.
“Nobody liked football in my family. My mother would chase me every time she saw me playing football. I had to leave the shadow of the palaver tree to find myself in full sunshine.
“It was hard for me because I felt a bit lonely. I did not understand why I was not allowed to live my dream,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senegal opened their campaign in the tournament with a 2-0 win against Tanzania without captain Mane, who handed a card suspension for the fixture.
Earlier, TUKO.co.ke reported that Senegal vs Tanzania ended on a winning for the Teranga Lions as they scored a goal in each half to win by 2-0.
Keita Balde Diao’s first half strike and Krepin Diatta’s thunderbolt were enough to seal Senegal a 1-0 slim win over Tanzania in the Africa Cup of Nation Group C clash staged at 30 June Stadium on Sunday evening, June 23.
Senegal were without Sadio Mane who is currently serving a one-match ban after accruing two yellow cards during the competition’s qualifiers.