Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Senegal’s Sadio Mane made history on Saturday night when they played key roles as Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspurs in Madrid to win the 2018/2019 UEFA Champions League.
The duo became the first to win the trophy from Egypt and Senegal. Two other African players also won medals, Cameroon’s Joel Matip and Naby Keita of Guinea.
Keita also became the first Guinean to win the UCL whiles Matip only followed in the footsteps of Samuel Eto’o – three times winner and Geremi Njitap – two times winner.
I warmly congratulate our young fellow countryman Sadio Mané for the victory of his team in the UEFA Champions League finals. I salute his talent, his discipline and his humility. Bravo Sadio!
Social media in both countries continue to lavish the African players with praise after a Salah penalty and late Divock Origi goal ensured that Liverpool secured their sixth Champions League trophy.
In the case of Mane, the president of Senegal Macky Sall joined the congratulatory group with a personally signed post on Twitter.
“I warmly congratulate our young fellow countryman Sadio Mané for the victory of his team in the UEFA Champions League finals. I salute his talent, his discipline and his humility. Bravo Sadio! Ms,” the president wrote
Believe, work hard, and it’ll happen. pic.twitter.com/F11eKYgZgK— Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) June 2, 2019
The records show that prior to the Madrid 2019 final, eighteen Africans had won the trophy. With the first being in 1983/1984 season when Zimbabwean goalie Bruce Grobbelaar won the trophy incidentally with Liverpool.
Since then, clubs in Spain, England, Portugal, Italy, France and Holland have all had Africans playing different roles in their UCL triumphs. The most recent winner being Achraf Hakimi of Morocco who won it with Real Madrid last year, beating Liverpool.
Facts about Africa’s UCL glory:
- Number of African countries that can boast of Winners = Thirteen
- African winners’ medals so far = 25
- Number of players to have won it = 21
- Highest individual winner = Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon with three medals
- Highest winners in a match = Four players with Chelsea in 2011-2012 season – Drogba, Mikel Obi, Kalou and Essien.
- Country with highest number of winners: Ghana (Four) Pele, Kufuor, Muntari, Essien
- Region with highest medals = West Africa (15), North Africa (3), Central Africa (3), Southern Africa (2), East Africa (1).