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Legacies of Soccer: Sadio Mané and a Charitable Work for His Hometown

The Senegalese Striker Donated the Money for the Construction of a Hospital in his Place of Origin and, with it, Entered the Select list of Soccer Players who have Collaborated in the Past with Charities for the Most Disadvantaged Around the Planet.

Sadio Mane

Photo: IG-sadiomaneofficiel

LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano

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Leer en español: Legados del fútbol: Sadio Mané y una obra caritativa para su pueblo natal

Sadio Mané, new piece of Bayern Munich, is in the news in recent days and not precisely because of his departure from Liverpool and his arrival in the Bavarian capital, but because of his charitable gestures towards his people, Banbali, to whom he donated 693 thousand dollars for the construction of the first hospital in this town, located about 400 kilometers from the capital of Senegal, Dakar.

After clarifying a little more his professional outlook for next season, the captain of the Senegal team, which will play the Qatar 2022 World Cup, met with the president of this nation, Macky Sall, to discuss the ambitious project that includes departments of maternity care, dental facilities and offices.

"Very honored by the audience granted to me by the head of state, His Excellency @Macky_Sall. A good time to talk about soccer, but also about our social projects," posted on his twitter account, the brand new hiring of the king of the Bundesliga.

The expansion of the health infrastructure in Banbali will not only help the village itself, but will reach another 34 villages that can access the health system . "This hospital is obtained thanks to you, and it is for you, the population of Sédhiou," said the striker, whose parents still reside in the aforementioned town, according to TyC Sports.

It's not the first time

In 2019, Mané donated nearly US$350,000 towards the construction of a school in his hometown, while a year earlier he had given away 300 Liverpool jerseys for residents to wear during that year's Champions League final.

Nor will it be Sadio's last great donation, as he plans, together with his partners, to build a post office and a service station, which will continue to generate development in his beloved town. Other renowned players and former players such as CR7, Iker Casillas, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have also participated in this type of act.

Solidarity among professional players

A good example is the Spanish international Juan Mata, who materialized a thought from 2017 in Common Goal, with the initiative that he sponsored under the umbrella of Streetfootballworld – an NGO that supports more than 120 organizations around the world – and whose objective is that soccer serves as a tool to alleviate social inequalities. The entry requirement is to donate 1% of salary to projects that support vulnerable children.

Outraged by the situation of 200 Senegalese seasonal workers living on the streets of Lleida, the 27-year-old Senegalese soccer player Keita Baldé decided to offer his financial help and financed accommodation, clothing and food for four months with the support of the activist Nogay Ndiaye. But surprisingly, their money could not provide them with a roof over their heads because the hotels in Lleida refused to accommodate them.

The operation, which was going to be anonymous, went viral when the Senegal and Monaco Ligue 1 international stated in an Instagram direct: "If they don't want to help, don't do it, but let others help," compiled El País. After the initial rejection, it found accommodation for at least sixty of these workers in a three-story building.

Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be missing from this list, since he was the first to offer his help during the fires in Portugal in 2017, where he was in charge of covering the medical expenses of 370 affected people, but he has also participated in cases such as the donation to a boy who required brain surgery, the $150,000 he gave to help the center where his mother was being treated for cancer.

Lionel Messi surprised at the time with news during his wedding with Antonella, his childhood sweetheart, by not receiving gifts. On the contrary, the albiceleste star requested donations for Techo, an NGO that helps more than three million people in Argentina. It is precisely in the most disadvantaged areas of his country that his silent work is best known.

A long list

In 2007, striker Didier Drogba arranged for an Africa Cup of Nations match to be held in Bouaké, a war-torn Ivorian territory attended by leaders from both sides. "Seeing the two sides together, singing my country's anthem in unison was very special. I felt that the Ivory Coast was reborn," he said excitedly, according to El País. Thanks to this, the UN appointed him itinerant ambassador.

Jermaine Defoe starred in perhaps the most beautiful and heartbreaking story in soccer history between a player and a fan, creating a public domain friendship with little Bradley Lowery, who suffered from neuroblastoma at just 6 years of age. The forward who defended Sunderland met with the boy whenever he could and was the one who helped raise the sum of one million dollars for his treatment in the United States, which was never carried out due to the boy's death.

In an England match against Lithuania, Defoe entered the field hand in hand with Lowery and dedicated a goal to him, one of the most moving moments in the little boy's short life, according to his mother.

To a lesser extent, other names like Mario Balotelli, who donates money to beggars; Dirk Kuyt with his foundation for disabled children; Iker Casillas as ambassador of the NGO "Plan"; Frédéric Kanouté with his ambitious city project for orphaned children in Mali; Samuel Etoo' with his foundation for better education in Africa; and the Mexican Rafael Márquez with his millionaire donations to the marginalized communities of his nation, have also contributed to charities for a better world.