Sadio Mané and Riyad Mahrez are leaving European leagues. Two artists on the ball, but above all two of the best players in the world over the last decade. They leave behind them performances and titles that are hard to match for the new generation of African players.
"My treasure, I leave it to you". None of them is Gol D. Roger, but Riyad Mahrez and Sadio Mané can each send this message to the new generation of African players. The Fennec has already signed for Saudi Arabia's Al-Ahli, while the Senegalese is set to join him in the next few days, having already reached an agreement with Al-Nassr. Both leave behind an exceptional legacy that will be difficult to match, if not surpass.
For Riyad Mahrez, the trophies have piled up over the years, and so have the honours. On an individual level, the Algerian leaves with the sobriquet of best African passer in Premier League history. He handed out 56 assists. African Player of the Year in 2016, Mahrez also won the title of England's Best Player the same year after winning the title with Leicester. On the team front, the Le Havre-trained player has won the Premier League 5 times, the FA Cup 3 times, the Cup 2 times, the Community Shield, The Algerian finally won the Champions League a few weeks ago. He is the most successful African player in the history of the English championship.
Sadio Mané, behind George Weah
The Senegalese has nothing to be ashamed of in comparison. Far from it. Sadio Mané has piled up trophies and individual honours throughout his time in the Premier League. He won the league title with Liverpool, as well as the Cup, the FA Cup, the Community Shield, the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup. In addition, the Senegalese finished as the league's top scorer, tied with Salah and Aubameyang in 2019. He also won the Bundesliga with Bayern.Not to mention the titles he won in Austria with Salzburg (5). Finally, Riyad Mahrez and Sadio Mané led their teams to the African Championship title in 2019 and 2022 respectively.
Sadio Mané also won two African Player of the Year awards in 2019 and 2022. He also finished 4th in the Ballon d'Or in 2019, before coming 2nd in 2022. The second-highest ranking in history for an African after George Weah's coronation in 1995. Suffice to say, the 31-year-old Senegalese and Riyad Mahrez will leave a huge void in European soccer. And we wonder whether the new generation will be able to follow in their footsteps.