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Mane says Afcon title ‘best trophy’ of his life

Senegal forward Sadio Mane has said the Africa Cup of Nations title is the best trophy of his life, adding that Sunday’s triumph with Senegal was the best day of his life.

Mane scored the winning penalty in the shootout against Egypt, having seen a first-half spot-kick saved as the game ended 0-0 after extra time.

Senegal celebrates

“It’s the best day of my life and the best trophy of my life,” the 29-year-old Liverpool forward said.

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

“I am happy for myself, my people and all of my family.”

Senegal had previously lost two Afcon finals, including a 1-0 defeat by Algeria in 2019.

On Sunday, Mane was given a chance to give Senegal an early lead in Cameroon after Saliou Ciss was brought down in the area by Mohamed Abdelmonem in the fourth minute. However, he saw his attempt saved by Egypt keeper Gabaski.

Mane credits his team-mates with giving him the strength to return in the shootout, where he sealed a 4-2 triumph.

Mane posted a photo of himself in bed with the trophy and his winners’ medal.

“When I missed the first penalty, it was a big blow for me,” he said.

“But my team-mates came to me and said ‘Sadio, we lose together and we win together. We know you. You have done too much for us – keep on going’.

“That made me stronger and I think it made the difference when I got the second one.

“All the boys came to me and said ‘Sadio, we trust you’ and that gave me more motivation. The trophy belongs to the whole Senegal team – everyone deserves it.”

Mane was also named player of the tournament.

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