Bayern Munich and Senegalese star Sadio Mane has clinched the first-ever Socrates Award for his charity works.
The former Liverpool hitman won the prize at the 2022 Ballon d’Or award ceremony on Monday.
He has continued to grab the headlines beyond the pitch having built a hospital, and funded several schools and families in his Bambali hometown. He was also instrumental in the country’s fight against COVID-19.
“The Socrates Prize identifies the best social initiative by committed champions,” organisers of the award France Football Magazine said.
The prize is named after the footballer Socrates who co-founded the Corinthians Democracy Movement in opposition to the ruling military government in the 1980s in Brazil.
‘Make Things Better’
An elated Mane could not hide his joy after scooping the prize and pledged to do more.
“I’m really happy to be a guest tonight,” he said. “Sometimes, I’m a bit shy, but I’m really happy to do what I can do for my people to make things better.”
Mane, the African Footballer of the Year, also finished second behind French forward Karim Benzema in the Ballon d’Or award.
During his final season with Liverpool, the 30-year-old netted 23 times and also helped Senegal clinch their first Africa Cup of Nations crown earlier in the year.
Since his summer move to Germany, Mane has scored nine goals in 16 competitive matches for giants Bayern Munich.
The Senegalese striker is expected to play a key role for his country when the 2022 World Cup – his second – begins in Qatar later in the year.