Sadio Mane will miss the 2022 World Cup after scans on Thursday evening revealed the Senegal star’s injury required surgery.
The captain and leader of the team suffered a seemingly harmless injury in Bayern’s last Bundesliga game before the season was suspended due to the World Cup (6:1 against Werder Bremen). The first news from the Senegalese camp was that Mane will travel with the squad to Qatar and will be available after the group stage if his side make it through.
Today, however, the federation officially announced: Sadio Mane is out of the championship and needs to be operated on. The captain will be replaced in the squad, which FIFA allows until Saturday.
Thus, the one who received enough votes for second place in the ranking for the “Golden Ball” of 2022, only after Karim Benzema, will watch the World Cup on television.
A sad moment for Sadio, who in the last 12 months won the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal, scoring the decisive penalty, played in the Champions League final with Liverpool (lost to Real), and lifted two more trophies with the Reds before moving to Bayern. World Cup 2022 would have been a fitting end to the striker’s year.
The news is also hard for the whole of Africa as the continent was hoping for a breakthrough and very strong performance from the Lions of Teranga in Qatar. This is the strongest African team, but without the leader things look different.
It is unclear whether Mane will get another chance to play in football’s biggest forum.
In April, he will be 31, and when the 2026 World Cup comes, he will be 34. And it is not clear whether Senegal will qualify for him again.
4 years ago in Russia 2018, Mane made three appearances in attack for his country and scored 1 goal.