In an interview with Pro Direct Soccer France (as transcribed by Sport1) Bayern Munich’s Sadio Mané revealed that he put his health at risk during the African Cup of Nations, as he suffered a concussion in the round of 16 against Cape Verde and still played again a few days later.
During the game against Cape Verde, the attacker collided badly with the opposing goalkeeper Vozinha while trying to regain possession. Mané continued to play after the heavy impact but had to be subbed off after he complained of a headache, and was later hospitalized.
Liverpool, his former club, pressured the Senegalese FA and also wrote a letter to FIFA stating that Mané needed at least five days rest. This meant that he would have missed the quarter-finals.
The medical team of the Senegal National Team also explained that he shouldn’t play and that they have to abide the rules but Mané refused to accept this and called the coach, insisting that he be placed in the starting XI despite what the doctors were saying.
He also contacted the association president and asked for a meeting, stubborn in his wish to continue playing. “... because I have to play. I could give up my life”, he said.
He then went on to describe the insane events that followed, ‘Just write a letter saying I voluntarily played in case I die or whatever happens. I know I shouldn’t play, but let’s make a deal. It will be my responsibility, I will sign it’, he told his coach.
Ultimately, no such letter was signed. The doctors allowed him to make the decision after taking a scan the next morning. The African CAF conducted a thorough investigation into Mané’s status and he further received the green light to play since there was no cause of concern from the findings of the report.
Five days after his concussion, he was back on the pitch against Equatorial Guinea in the quarter final, winning 3-1. “Thank God everything went well,” Mané said.
And in the end, Mané finally lifted the trophy, for which he even wanted to risk his life.
This apparently isn’t the first time Mané has tried to play with an injury either!
Guys, I’ll say it again. There is no excuse to not care about your physical health. And your mental health, for that fact. As heroic as this all sounds, please let’s not glorify risking your health!
Here’s hoping Mané doesn’t pull such stunts at Bayern Munich.