Sadio Mane Claims He Would Trade Champions League Medal for Africa Cup of Nations Triumph

​Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has said that he would ‘exchange’ his Champions League winners medal to lift the Africa Cup of Nations trophy with Senegal for the first time in the country’s history.

The forward has enjoyed a sensational year so far, joint-winning the Premier League Golden Boot with 22 goals and lifting the Champions League.

Now in Egypt for the Africa Cup of Nations, ​Mane’s Senegal are among the favourites to be crowned continental champions – a feat they have never previously achieved, with the Lions of Teranga only making it as far as the semi-finals in previous editions.


Lifting the cup in Cairo on 19 July would cap an incredible and potentially career-defining year for Mane, but all of his accolades so far, it seems AFCON would rank the highest.

Speaking to France Football (via GFFN), Mane said: “It is up to us to achieve something great. Of course, we are one of the favourites, we cannot hide from that. But this standing is not enough to go all the way.

“Winning with my country, which has never won the Africa Cup of Nations, that would be magnificent. I am even ready to exchange a ​Champions League to win an Africa Cup of Nations. The return to Dakar would be extraordinary. This is my biggest and craziest dream.”

Senegal won their tournament opener 2-0 against Tanzania without captain Mane – who was suspended – and his Champions League medal may not need to be put up as collateral if Aliou Cisse’s side maintain their form.

Sadio Mane

In the same interview, Mane also revealed that growing up in Senegal he had little encouragement from his family when it came to football.

He added: “Nobody liked football in my family. My mother would chase me every time she saw me playing football. I had to leave the shadow of the palaver tree to find myself in full sunshine. 

“It was hard for me because I felt a bit lonely. I did not understand why I was not allowed to live my dream.”