Sadio Mane received the first ever Socrates Award at the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony last week for his humanitarian work off the pitch.
The award is the first of its kind presented by the French magazine to players who have contributed significantly to charitable work and community service. It is named after the Brazilian footballer Socrates, who was well-known for his humanitarian work during his playing days. He co-founded the Corinthians Democracy movement to oppose the military government in Brazil in the 1980s.
Upon receiving the award, Mane said “I am really very happy to be here and while sometimes I may be a little bit shy, I’m very happy to be able to do what I do for all these people back home to make their lives better.”
The Bayern Munich forward grew up in Bambali, a small Senegalese village, and has looked to help those who still live there in recent years.
He built a £455,000 hospital in the village, and has also donated money to a secondary school, plus given free laptops and money to the highest-performing students in Bambali High School.
The 30-year-old has also put money towards building a petrol station and a post office, while he donated £41,000 to the Senegalese National Committee when the Covid-19 pandemic struck in 2020.
Mane, who is the reigning African Footballer of the Year, was also nominated for the Ballon d’Or. 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.