SADIO Mane would be prepared to swap his
Champions League success with Liverpool for an Africa Cup of Nations medal with
Senegal, he said as he readied for his first game at the tournament in Egypt.
“To win for my country, which has
never won a Cup of Nations, would be magnificent. I am even ready to trade in
my Champions League success to win the Africa Cup of Nations,” Mane told
France Football in an interview published on Tuesday.
“The return to Dakar (with the trophy)
would be extraordinary. That is my craziest dream,” he said.
Mane, who helped Liverpool beat Tottenham
Hotspur on June 1 in the Champions League final in Madrid, missed Senegal’s
opening game at this year’s Cup of Nations as he was suspended because of an
accumulation of cautions in the qualifiers.
Senegal beat Tanzania 2-0 in Cairo on
Sunday to make a winning start to their Group C campaign. They next take on
Algeria on Thurday (today), when Mane is expected to return to the team.
He is competing in his third finals, having
seen Senegal eliminated in the first round in 2015 and then having to be
dragged off the field two years ago when he collapsed in a heap after his
penalty in a quarter-final shootout against Cameroon was saved.
“It’s up to us to achieve something
grand,” said Mane of their latest quest.
“Of course we are among the
favourites, we cannot hide from that. But this status is not enough to ensure
that we go through to the end.”
Senegal’s best Nations Cup performance was in 2002 when the team reached the final in Mali but lost to Cameroon on penalties after a goalless draw. – Reuters
Credit: Source link