Liverpool winger Sadio Mane said that he had to run away from his house to pursue his dream of becoming a footballer. Mane initially wanted to pursue a football career in Senegal’s capital Dakar but he barely received any support from his family since the people in his village did not like football. Hence, he had to run away.
Mane said, “It was a tough moment for me when I was in Senegal, especially when I was young. I was born in a village, I grew up there, and they don’t like football. My mum, my dad and my uncle preferred me to go to school all the time and study. At that time I was only focusing on being a football player. They told me ‘How can you be a football player? It is not possible. This village is far from Dakar, how can you go? We don’t even have family there’.
But I knew I was going to be a football player, I just didn’t know how. It was the only thing I was doing, the only thing that I knew. Always training, training, training, training. They never, ever tried to help me until the day I left my school, I was fifteen or sixteen. I said ‘Now is enough, I have to stop school – I want to be a football player, I have to focus’. They said ‘Are you crazy, how?’. I said ‘I don’t know but I will go to Dakar, I don’t know anyone but I can play on the street and hopefully someone can find me.
I think they thought I was joking but one day I packed all of my luggage, stopped school and went. I didn’t tell anyone but my best friend. For one week nobody saw me in the house, or at school, so they tried to call everywhere. They went to my friend and finally he told them that I went to Dakar. They found me, they took me from Dakar and took me back home.”
Mane’s career is currently rocketing as he has established himself as one of the finest wingers in Europe.