Sadio Mane of Senegal has been ruled out of the World Cup due to a knee injury suffered while playing for Bayern Munich.
Senegal’s football association said on Tuesday that Mane, 30, will miss their “first games” in the tournament. However, a further MRI scan on Thursday revealed that surgical intervention is required.
On November 8, Mane was forced off during Bayern’s Bundesliga victory against Werder Bremen after sustaining a knee injury.
Senegal kicks up their World Cup campaign on Monday against the Netherlands. The West Africans are in Group A, with games against Qatar (November 25) and Ecuador (November 29) to come.
The two-time African Footballer of the Year, Mane, netted the winning penalty as the Teranga Lions became continental champions for the first time in February, defeating Egypt in a shootout in the Africa Cup of Nations final. Only a few weeks later, Mane scored the game-winning penalty as Senegal defeated Egypt on penalties in a play-off to qualify for Qatar.
Being ruled out of the competition will be sad for Sadio Mane after a year in which everything was going so well for him. The Bayern Munich striker came in second in the Ballon d’Or voting because he helped Senegal win the Cup of Nations and qualify for the World Cup. He also did well with Liverpool in the first half of the year.
Mane had hoped to help Senegal, The Lions of Teranga follow in the footsteps of the nation’s 2002 team and reach at least the quarterfinals in Qatar. Now, Senegal will find it incredibly tough to create a mark in Qatar without its talisman. They have other good players like Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Ismailia Sarr, but no one can truly replace the main man, Mane. Terrible news for Mane, for Senegal, and for the African nation.