Sadio Mane has arrived back in Liverpool after winning the 2019 CAF African Player of the Year on Tuesday evening, but plans to return to Senegal as soon as there is time in the schedule.
The Reds and the forward had made provisions for him to fly to his homeland directly from the ceremony in Egypt in recognition of the support many in his country had given him on his journey towards receiving the prestigious prize.
However, travel disruption beyond both his and the club’s control meant he was unable to make the visit and will now do so at the earliest possible opportunity.
Mane told Liverpoolfc.com upon arriving back on Merseyside: “I am of course very happy and proud to win this award and I want to dedicate it to everyone who has helped me on my journey from the very beginning.
“It was my plan to first fly to Senegal to thank the people of my country and recognise them for everything they have given me on my journey, but unfortunately we were unable to make the visit.
“Now we have a big match against Tottenham this weekend which I must focus on and be ready for, but it is true I am disappointed I was unable to return home to say thank you because of some problems beyond our control.
“So, I will return to Senegal as soon as possible because it is something very important to me – I will never forget what everybody did for me, everybody who believed in me and everybody who gave me the chance to play football."