AFRICAN ROBIN HOOD: SADIO MANÉ

By: @banctouchpod I have always been fascinated by the idea of a man willing to do everything in his power to save others. Through my time on this earth, I have read many myths and tales, but one that caught my attention was that of the historical Robin Hood. Some think of it as a kind of 20th century myth making and as it is common, myths are not real. However, let me tell you about a real Robin Hood who is originally from Africa.  Sadio Mane, 30, is a professional football player who is currently under contract with Bayern Munich after completing his transfer move from Anfield. Looking at his beginnings in Senegal, he struggled to play football as he had a religious father that forbade him from mastering his craft.  After the passing of his father, Mane focused more on his football career and he got picked up by the Generation Foot youth academy. Mane knew that he could “score” his goals of being a professional football player, which he did after he officially signed his first professional contract with Ligue 2 club Metz at age 19, but things did not go as the Senegalese excepted. Then, he departed to join Red Bull Salzburg in 2012, and after winning four trophies for the Austrian club, Sadio Mane took his talent to England, to play for Southampton for a record fee of €13.7 million. There, the African archer pulled his bow, sharpened his arrows and loosed a hat-trick which was registered as a new Premier League record for the fastest hat-trick, scored in 176 seconds in a 6–1 win over Aston Villa in 2015.  Mané signed for fellow Premier League club Liverpool in 2016, for a reported fee of £34 million. With the help of his prime form and the other big two (Mohammed Salah and Roberto Firmino), Sadio helped Liverpool add 6 valuable trophies to its cabinet. He also won the Premier League’s golden boot as the league's joint-top goalscorer. At international level, Mane has 33 goals in 91 appearances, which makes him Senegal’s all-time goal scorer. In the African Cup of Nations 2021, Mané scored the last penalty to give Senegal their first Africa Cup of Nations title and he was also named the Player of the tournament.  Sadio Mané has come a long way, but he’ll never forget where he started. Growing up was difficult for Mané. He even mentioned that he survived hunger and hard times. Not to mention, he did not receive any type of education and had to work hard in the field to help his family.  Life finally switched to the good, after he excelled in the world of football as one of the best forwards in the game, but no matter how much he earns from doing what he does best, he has no interest in living like he’s rich and famous.  Still, my favorite part of this story might be the reason why Sadio Mané has been so generous. Here is what he told the Ghanian outlet nsemwoha.com back in 2019:       “Why would I want 10 Ferraris, 20 diamond watches, or two planes?” he asked. “What will these objects do for me and for the world?”   Instead, the talented Senegalese is using his earnings to turn his village into a city.  Over the years, he took care of his people in his homegrown village by building schools, hospitals and a stadium. He also delivers food for those in need, and donates a share of his wages to poor people of Senegal each week.   For example, after the 2018/19 season, the Senegalese Robin Hood could have been anywhere in the world enjoying his holiday after a long season of losing his arrows in England.  Instead, he rested his bow and went back to his homegrown village in Senegal to check on a €315k school he intended to finance before. That was after he had already opened a hospital.  Mané has given back so much to his people in Senegal that no one could blame him for showing off and flexing his wealth. However, he is still focused on wearing his generous cape and continues with his Robin Hood heroism to help transform his village into a city, by sharing his wealth in every way he can.

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