Sadio Mane recently revealed that he was so desperate to represent Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations, he was willing to die for it.

In January, Mane, 30, suffered a concussion during the last 16 clash with Cape Verde, but somehow managed to play on, and eventually scored for his nation.

While the desire to keep going despite a head injury was commendable, it did earn AFCON officials their fair share of criticism for risking a player’s life for football.

A large chunk of social media users, particularly those from abroad, were adamant Mane should have been hauled off immediately he showed signs of disorientation.

Interestingly, he came back on during the game and scored the goal that would help Senegal secure a 2-0 victory on the day.

Afterwards, Mane was advised to take at least five days away from the beautiful game so the extent of the head injury could be assessed.

But the forward, who was desperate to help his side to AFCON glory, defied his Premier League side Liverpool’s protocol wishes, and he made it clear to doctors that he would make the quarter finals, at any cost.

Mane was speaking with the Pro Direct Soccer France , quoted on Give me Sport,where he admitted his determination to help Senegal at the time got the better of him.

“When I got injured against Cape Verde and I had concussion, I never talked about it that day.
“Liverpool put pressure on the federation and wrote a letter to FIFA that I needed at least five days rest so that meant I was to miss the quarter-finals.

“Our national team doctor also had to follow those rules. When they told me that, I called the coach and told him ‘The doctor does not want me to play but you have to put me in the starting 11’.

“I called the federation president and told him we need to have a meeting because I have to play. I could give up my life.”
Indeed, Mane was in the squad for the game against Equitorial Guinea, and he revealed that he went to the lengths of signing a contract to let the Senegal FA off the hook should something happen to him.

“If I die, they have to say it is my fault. No one’s fault. They said ‘Sadio, you cannot play’ but I said ‘no, no, it is out of the question’.

“It was around 1am or 2am, everyone panicked and I said ‘coach, I know even you are scared. Just write a letter that says I played voluntarily in case I die or whatever happens’. Everyone was tense.


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