Former Senegal international Habib Beye has crowned young attacking midfielder Sadio Mane as the diamond in a Teranga Lions team of “exceptional talents”.
The France-born former Marseille and Newcastle rght-back, who was part of the 2002 Senegal team that reached the World Cup quarter-finals, was speaking as a pundit for Canal+ ahead of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
“Lions have exceptional talents. Sadio Mane is the diamond of this team,” Beye noted.
“Sadio Mane is in exceptional shape. He is a player of exceptional qualities. For me, he’s an outstanding player,” he added.
Mane is currently injured, but there is hope he can play at the upcoming AFCON. On Monday he trained alone, but missed the team’s 5:2 thrashing of Guinea in a friendly on Tuesday.
Though he had earlier been ruled out of the tournament by his club Southampton of England, Mane is desperate to play at the continental showpiece.
“Now I am here and I hope to be able to play at the AFCON. I feel good,” the 22-year-old told L’Observateur.
“I was a bit sore at the beginning, but now I am ok. Everything goes well and I am happy to be with my teammates.
“Personally I am confident. As the coach said, we are going to wait. He will take the best decision.”
Senegal open their campaign at the AFCON against Ghana on Monday, before games against South Africa and Algeria.
By: Gary Al-Smith/citifmonline.com/Ghana