Sadio Mane was a standout at the 2022 Ballon d’Or awards ceremony in Paris. The Bayern Munich forward represented both his club as well as his country Senegal with utmost grace and his achievements were highly celebrated in the awards ceremony.
Mane won the first-ever ‘Socrates award’ for his admirable charity efforts as well as for developing infrastructure in his home country. This comes after he had built a hospital in his home village of Bambaly in Casamance, West Senegal.
Not just that, the winger also spent nearly a million dollars on improving the quality of infrastructure in his village. He also helped build a school for the children and also a support package for struggling families.
As part of the package, he gives $70 to the children and a $400 bonus to the top school children. It’s because of the amazing philanthropic work that helped him earn the first-ever Socrates award, which is named after the Brazilian footballer – who was known for being quite the philanthropist himself.
Not just that, but Mane also managed a surprising highly finish in the Ballon d’Or rankings. The Bayern Munich forward finished second in the rankings, only behind eventual winner Karim Benzema.
After having helped Senegal win the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year, the forward was able to finish ahead of the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Vinicius Jr and even ex-Liverpool teammate Mo Salah in the rankings.
But it wasn’t him winning the award or finishing in second place in the rankings that got him the most praise from his fans in Africa. It was his unique attire which did.
In a ceremony where most male footballers opted to wear fancy designer suits – with Benzema himself replicating a Tupac look – Mane decided to pay homage to his culture.
Instead of wearing a generic suit combo, he donned a popular attire from his country – called a Kaftan.
For those unknown, a Kaftan is a pullover robe that can be worn by both men and women. A Senegalese kaftan is normally a pullover men’s robe that has long bell-like sleeves.
A traditional kaftan covers the ankle length, but Mane decided to wear a modified version of that. His Grey Kaftan was up to the hip area, and he decided to wear matching-coloured pants to go with it.
Mane decided to wear formal party-wear shoes black and white shoes to go with it and was among the most in-demand figure for the photographers because of how he stood out from everyone else in the ceremony.
The attire was just another example of just how down-to-earth and humble Mane has managed to remain despite gaining so much success in his career.
His relatable character and personality are major reasons why he’s so popular across his country and the entire African continent.
Mane’s amazing attire also managed to win over the people of Africa, who felt it was a true representation of their culture and absolutely adored him for it.