AFCON’s Indispensables: Senegal superstar Sadio Mané 🦁
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AFCON’s Indispensables: Senegal superstar Sadio Mané 🦁

Liverpool's scintillating Sadio is aiming for AFCON glory to cap a brilliant couple of months for the 27-year-old. 

 


 

Mané in a nutshell 🥜 

Mane is flying after tasting European glory with Liverpool, a season in which he added some real consistency and end-product to his game.  He scored 22 goals in the Premier League last season, ending as the joint-top scorer in England's top flight.

The wide attacker uses his frightening pace and trickery to bamboozle defenders and the timing of his runs into the box has also improved, as has his finishing. Now, Sadio Mane is widely regarded as the finished article and one of the finest attacking players on the planet.

His AFCON so far 🌍 

 

 

Sadio Mané says it is his "absolute dream" to help Senegal win the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time. Mane is the joint-leading scorer at the tournament with two goals along with 10 other players - including his Liverpool team-mate, Egypt's Mohamed Salah. 

Mane has three goals to his name and is gunning for another Golden Boot award 

Supporting cast 🇸🇳 

 

 

Senegal's attacking options outside of Mané makes them one of the most fearsome African sides on paper. Keita Baldé  & Ismaïla Sarr provide lightning pace on the flanks, and target man Mbaye Niang is a great Plan B when they want to go more direct.  

Towering centre back Kalidou Koulibaly, affectionately nicknamed K2 after the second-highest mountain in the world, is the bedrock of Senegal's defence. He has become a key figure at Serie A runners up Napoli and if Senegal is to go deep into the tournament, they'll need Kouli to be at his commanding best.

 

 

In front of him, underrated Premier League star Idrissa Gueye continues to go through a mountain of work for his club Everton and without his tireless tackling style, Senegal would struggle to keep things together in the centre of the park.  Another proven Premier League player, Cheikhou Kouyaté, has proved his value to the Senegal cause. The versatile midfield man has stepped seamlessly into central defence after a tournament-ending injury to Salif Sané. 

Wildcard worth watching 🃏 

21-year-old Barcelona right-back Moussa Wagué broke onto the international scene at last year's World Cup with his marauding style from the right side of Senegal's defence. With club opportunities limited at Camp Nou, a couple of top displays in Egypt might alert the attention of numerous other top European clubs. 

Next match 🗓 

Senegal, runners-up in 2002, is looking to reach the last four when they meet Benin tonight in the quarterfinals at 19:00 EAT.

Follow Senegal vs Benin live on Futaa!

Read more: Senegal vs Benin - Lions of Teranga will be too strong for Benin's brave squirrels