5 things that qualify Sadio Mane to become the first winner of the Ballon d’Ór 2022 Socrates Award

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In the just concluded Balon d’or ceremony that took place at the Theater du Chatelet ìn Paris, France. Sadio Mane received France Football’s inaugural Socrates Award becoming the first player in history to achieve this.

The accolade is named after the late footballer Socrates, who co-founded the Corinthians Democracy movement, in opposition to the ruling military government in 1980s Brazil.

“The Socrates Prize identifies the best social initiative by committed champions,” said a statement from France Football magazine, which added the humanitarian award to the 2022 Ballon d’Or ceremony.

Below are 5 reasons he is a worthy winner of the award:

1. His good works of charity

The Bayern Munich forward has built a public hospital and funded schools and families in his home village of Bambali in recent years, and also donated to the Senegalese National Committee to help fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Part of his work in his hometown of Bambali saw him build a school worth €270,000, and put up a hospital worth €530,000. Every month, he also gives family €70 for upkeep, provide free clothes to kids and access to the 4G network thanks to his partnership with Orange.

2. 2021/2022 career success

Mane was one of the nominees for the most coveted Balon d’or award. He scored 23 goals in his final season as a Liverpool player whilst helping Senegal win their maiden Africa Cup of Nations title, and has since produced nine goals and an assist in 16 competitive appearances for Bayern.

– Mane scored 23 goals in 51 matches for Liverpool in 2021/22
– Sadio Mane celebrating a goal he scored, in his new jersey.

He came out the second best, only to Kareem Benzema who finished first ahead of him.
The progression he enjoyed in his football career projected him even more to be qualified for the Socrates’ Award.

3. His personality On & Off the Pitch

Sadio Mane is hardworking, generous and a cool man, he is a man that is shy of controversies. Mane has never trend for not-so-good reasons – this portrays his high level of sportsmanship.

– Sadio Mane receiving the Socrates Award, France, Paris.

He had this to say in the closing remark of his speech, after he has received the award:

“I’m really happy to be a guest tonight. Sometimes I’m a bit shy, but I’m really happy to do what I can do for my people to make things better.”

Sadio Mane

4. AFCON glory

The Bayern Munich player also scored the winning penalty for Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations final against Egypt. He was named player of the tournament too after getting three goals and two assists across the competition.

He is the 2022 Confederation of African Football Men’s Player of the Year. He had a successful football year -2021/2022.

It’s the best day of my life and the best trophy of my life,” Mane said after becoming an African champion in February.

“I won the Champions League and some [other] trophies but this is the special one for me. This is more important for me.”

– Mane with the African Football Men’s player of the year award
– Mane with the AFCON trophy

When it came to deciding the best player on the African continent this year, though, the record books will note that Mane got the better of Salah twice in crunch fixtures at international level. And that probably made all the difference since not all players cam boast of bettering Salah twice consecutively in defining matches where all eyes and weights are on you.

5. Mane is loved and accepted globally.

Presently, Sadio Mane is Africa’s and arguably one of the world’s current most influential footballers. Beyond a footballer, he is an amazing human being that duly deserves the accolades and merits he is enjoying.

People are not only wowed with his football techniques, they love him even more for who he is outside the pitch. He is popularly called “a man with a golden heart” amongst his fans.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.

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