Football

Senegal’s Mane leading Nigerian youngster Awoniyi on the path to success

Senegal’s Mane leading Nigerian youngster Awoniyi on the path to success - Sports Leo

Known for his breathtaking performances on the field of play, Liverpool and Senegal forward Sadio Mane has a lesser-known side – but just as commendable, if not more.

Mane, 27, has also been instrumental in making young Nigerian striker Taiwo Awoniyi feel welcome at Liverpool.

The Reds are currently on track to secure their first English Premier League title in 30 years, with a 22-point lead over second-placed Manchester City with 11 games remaining in the season. Mane alongside Egyptian striker partner Mohamed Salah has been key to Liverpool’s success.

In an interview with Oma Sports, Awoniyi—currently on loan at German club Mainz—spoke about the influence of Mane.

“Everyone has read a lot about Mane and everything they’ve read about him is the truth,” the 22-year-old Awoniyi said.

“I was at the training ground for my rehab [last summer] and the coach told me to stay aside and watch training, and after it, Mane jokingly passed the ball to me.

“He asked me where I’m from and I said Nigeria and he gave me his number. That’s who he is.

“It’s a lesson to me and it’s all about humility irrespective of the position you find yourself. Nobody can take it away from him.”

Awoniyi has not yet become a regular for Mainz, and his time away from Liverpool has not changed his opinion of the English club.

“In England, I’ve only been [at] Liverpool, and as a player, I see how they treat everyone and it’s amazing,” he continued.

“When I return from my loan deals they treat me as one of them, and it is great.

“They always try to make everything easy, even things outside football. My dad moved with me to England and they made it possible.

“They treat me well and it’s the same with everyone. I’m not in the same level as Mane and others and they treat me great. You can only imagine. It’s a family club.”

In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo

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