Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has made a terrific start to the new Premiership season. He’s netted four goals in the opening four matches, helping his unbeaten club reach the top of the table.
It may be early doors, but Liverpool are looking strong, largely thanks to the Senegalese striker.
Even so, Mane is currently receiving praise for his actions off the pitch. In a recent video posted on Twitter, the striker – who earns £90,000 per week – can be seen helping to clean toilets in his local mosque mere hours after LIverpool’s 2-1 victory over Leicester City, in which Mane scored the opener.
The clip, which was reportedly filmed at the Al-Rahma Mosque, in Mulgrave Street, Liverpool, appears to show Mane filling a bucket before another member mops the bathroom floor.
Anyone familiar with the striker will know how devout a Muslim he is. Along with praying five times a day, the 26-year-old Mane celebrates all of his goals by performing sujood; and is known to have donated thousands to charitable projects in his native Senegal.
While cleaning toilets certainly isn’t a measure of a person’s faith, it’s heartening to see a footballer – and a very successful one of that – mucking in at his local mosque, where all are equal before God. It shows a level of humility that is valued by all faiths, not to mention anyone who considers themselves a decent human being. Still, there’s a reason this clip has made the news: not many of us would expect a professional footballer to take part in such a task.
Mane’s humble actions at the Liverpool mosque, which he is said to attend regularly, may be a reflection of his lengthy journey to footballing stardom.
Born in Sédhiou, a town in the southwest of Senegal, Mane’s early footballing experiences were defined by torn boots and dirt fields. His father, the Imam at the local mosque, also didn’t view the sport as a viable option for the future.
Yet Mane’s love for the game was only matched by his abundance of talent, and his family soon supported his footballing dream. With the help of his uncle, at 15 he travelled 500 miles to the country’s capital, Dakar, to tryout for the academy of Generation Foot, a club that has nurtured some of Senegal’s best players.
In a 2016 interview with Goal, Mane described how his audition for the club’s scout didn’t last very long: “When I got on the pitch, you could see the surprise on his face.
“He came to me and said ‘I’m picking you straight away. You’ll play in my team.’ After those trials, I went to the academy.”
Several stints in clubs across Europe followed until Mane was eventually signed by Southampton. His performances caught the attention of Liverpool, who paid £34 million for his services in 2016. Judging by his start to the 2017/18, it looks like the lofty fee will be worth it.
But if this recent video is anything to go by, we doubt the success will go to Mane’s head. No matter your faith, it’s crucial to stay humble. It’s an oft-repeated phrase, but it reminds us to help others, treat people with respect and contribute to the things in life that are bigger than the individual.