We are often content with what we have, sometimes even forgetting that we could claim more in the surrounding context. “Disappointed in a good way”, according to the Swiss expression, Africa celebrates the second place on the podium of the Ballon d’Or 2022, that of the Senegalese Sadio Mané, holder of Bayern Munich, African football champion and Ballon d’Or African.
Senegal: Sadio Mané, the man who walks on water
That Africa misses the supreme consecration could be a source of disappointment, considering that the continent was déjà winner of the distinction in 1995, in the person of the Liberian George Weah, now president of his country. A relative disappointment, if we consider that Mané is still the first African to get back on the podium since Weah. A partial disappointment, considering that Mané is four years younger than the chosen one, Karim Benzema.
A disappointment almost evaporated, if we consider that African blood also flows in the veins of the best player of the year, the two parents of the French winner being Algerian: his Oran mother and his Kabyle father. Needless, moreover, to examine many biographies in “ethnic statistics” mode to detect the Africanity of current football, European if not global. An Africanity that nationalists are never slow to underline…
Sadio Mané continues to trace a very popular route, which began in the Casamance village of Bambali. And he didn’t come back empty-handed from this ceremony from October 17. The Senegalese was awarded the first Socrates Prize for his many social actions. It is also this reputation for overflowing humanity which contrasts with the capricious behavior of some current overpaid football stars. The one who claimed to prefer “helping people to having ten Ferraris” therefore perhaps did not need a bling-bling ball so much…
Algeria: the origins of Benzemania
To crown the encouraging “almost-consecration” of the child of Teranga, the next big footballing event being the final phase of the World Cup, which begins on November 20, Africans are proud of an unprecedented fact : the five African teams involved in the Qatari competition will be led by local coaches. Moroccan Walid Regragui coaches the Atlas Lions, while Tunisian Jalel Kadri, Ghanaian Otto Addo, Cameroonian Rigobert Song and Senegalese Aliou Cissé are in charge of their respective countries. Who will be on the podium ?