Liverpool’s new star signing Sadio Mane had almost given up on football, Metz’ academy director Denis Schaeffer has revealed.
Sadio Mane is the latest superstar to arrive at Liverpool, after the midfielder left the Saints to join the Merseyside club for a fee of £34 million, which could further rise up to £36 million – thereby making him Liverpool’s most expensive signing.
The 24-year-old scored 21 Premier League goals in the 67 appearances he made for Southampton – the club he joined for £10 million from Salzburg back in 2014.
Following his move to the Anfield club, Mane has also become the most expensive African player in footballing history, surpassing the £28 million transfer fee Manchester City paid Swansea City to acquire the services of Wilfried Bony in January 2015.
But all this never would have happened, had Sadio Mane went on with his decision to quit football before his career had even taken off.
Metz academy director Denis Schaeffer has revealed that the Senegalese midfielder faced major homesickness back when he arrived in Europe in 2011, and was almost on the verge of giving up on football.
Schaeffer told The Sun: “He was homesick at the beginning as everything was different for him. The food was different, the weather, the rhythm of training, just life in general.
“When he arrived in France it was the beginning of winter and he was just a boy. He was injured a month after he arrived and it needed three or four months for him to get back and fulfill his potential.
“We worked with his integration and he had to work hard every day. We worked with him in different situations as he had to find a new life but he really wanted to improve. Everyone here has wonderful memories of him as a boy and he keeps contact with some people here.”
But things turned out quite differently, and here he is now, playing for one of the biggest clubs in England, and preparing for one of the most exciting Premier League seasons in the history of English football.