The story behind this picture of Sadio Mane at Metz is so heartwarming

Sadio Mane is one of the best players in world football.

The former Southampton player enjoyed an incredible 2018/19 campaign, sharing the Premier League Golden Boot award and winning the Champions League with Liverpool.

It represents quite an incredible rags to riches story.

Aged 16 and with no money in Senegal, Mane decided he’d try to become a footballer and headed towards the capital of Dakar.

“I walked for a long time to meet up with a friend who loaned me some money so that I could take the bus to Dakar,” he’s previously revealed.

He got his break when French side Metz signed him.

And now a picture from the first day that he left Senegal to sign for Metz has emerged – and there’s a great story behind it.

We’ll let the person who took the actual picture tell it.

“I noticed a funny guy in the team (Sadio) because he took a Japanese-style bow to anyone he met. He said that the scout of FC Metz just found him in some rural area in Senegal, and he really appreciated the chance,” the reporter said.

“He saw I got a camera, and he asked me to take a picture of him because he wanted to show his mother,” a reporter said about Mane.

I asked him for his email address. He shook his head. He only gave me the address of the club (Metz). At last, he asked ‘It’s free, right?’

During his first season in France, Mane’s Metz side were relegated from Ligue 2 with the winger scoring just once in 19 matches.

However, he showed enough promise to be snapped up by Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg.

Forty-five goals in 87 matches saw Southampton bring him to the Premier League.

Another impressive two seasons at St Mary’s saw him complete a £34 million move to Liverpool, where he has established himself as one of the best players in the world.