Sadio Mane said winning Senegal’s first Cup of Nations was the most important part of his career.
The West Africans have already gone through two finals of the Nations Cup, with a 1-0 win over Algeria three years ago.
“It was the best day of my life and the best trophy of my life,” the 29 -year -old Liverpool player said.
“I won the Champions League and another [other] trophies but this is what is special to me. This is important to me.
“I’m happy for myself, my people and my whole family.”
Mane was given a chance to give Senegal the first lead in Cameroon after Saliou Ciss was sent off by Mohamed Abdelmonem in the fourth minute.
However, he saw that his attempt was interrupted by the Egyptian guard Gabaski.
Mane congratulated his teammates for giving him the strength to return to shooting, where he sealed the 4-2 victory.
“When I passed the first penalty, it was a big key for me,” he said.
“But my teammates came up to me and said ‘Sadio, we lost and we won too. We saw you. You worked so hard for us – keep going’.
“That’s what made me stronger and I think it made a difference when I got a second.
“All the boys came up to me and said ‘Sadio, we trust you’ and gave me encouragement. For the whole Senegal team the climb – everything is necessary.”
Mane was named the player of the competition, and the morning after the final, he posted a photo of himself in bed with the box and his winning medal.
Mane praised her for being brave after her first passing
Gabaski’s rescue from Mane in Yaounde was the fourth time the Senegalese had been released from 12 yards out while playing in the Nations Cup.
Mane saw how hard he tried Cameroon’s victory in the last quarter in 2017, and two years later he did not return to team play against Kenya and the last-16 meeting with Uganda – even though he scored in both games.
Nigeria’s first international Daniel Amokachi, the 1994 Nations Cup winner, said Mane “has shown a lot of style” to take back the punishment for shooting at Pharaohs.
“I didn’t expect when he moved forward, but you can see how he melted that ball into the corner,” Amokachi told the BBC World Service.
“He’s the kind of star player. I said we knew he missed opportunities when he played for Liverpool but the way he put the game together, it can always be good. end. “
Former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, a Nations Cup winner with Ivory Coast in 2015 after winning on penalties in the 2006 and 2012 finals, Mane praised the “fearless warrior “, While Efan Ekoku described Mane’s victory as” the biggest kick of his life “.
“I am very happy for Sadio Mane,” Nigeria’s former athlete Ekoku told BBC Three.
“He had a lot of trouble with his government. He was a warrior and a punishment.
The coach provides victory for the whole of Senegal
Senegal coach Aliou Cisse won his third attempt at the Nations Cup final.
The 45 -year -old captained the Teranga Lions when they finished second in 2002 – missing the penalty shootout to Cameroon – and in the second in 2019.
He dedicated the victory to his fellow villagers before his post -game conference was adjourned by his team for the celebration.
“It was long, hard, sometimes hard but we didn’t give up,” Cisse said.
“I think it’s a real testament to the mental strength of this generation. We are very happy, we give this victory to the Senegalese, because, from independence until now we are running after this star. before.
“Today, we’ll also have a star on our shirt.”
Tens of thousands of Senegalese cheers took to the streets of Dakar to celebrate Sunday night, waving national flags, dancing and firing fireworks in the air. a Monday was declared a national holiday to mark the party’s victory in Cameroon.