Soccer star Sadio Mane may be one of the world’s richest footballers – but he has not turned his back on the poverty-stricken town where he grew up in Senegal.

MailOnline can reveal that the former Liverpool forward has ploughed an estimated £1million into funding new facilities such as schools and schools in Bambali in recent years.

His latest gift to the isolated community in the west African country is a brand new mini soccer stadium complete with artificial grass and seats for spectators.

Mane, 31, who got married at the weekend to his Senegalese girlfriend Aisha Tamba, 19, officially unveiled the pitch at a ceremony last week.

It replaces the former football field in Bambali which used to become a mud bath in wet weather.

Sadio Mane visiting the village where he grew up a few years ago. The star has invested an estimated £1million in Bambali

Mane's latest gift to the isolated community is a brand new mini soccer stadium

Mane’s latest gift to the isolated community is a brand new mini soccer stadium

Mane spoke of his happiness at providing the facility at a ceremony when he cut a ribbon in Senegal's national colours to declare it open

Mane spoke of his happiness at providing the facility at a ceremony when he cut a ribbon in Senegal’s national colours to declare it open

Mane gave £500,000 towards the construction of a hospital, serving the town and 34 surrounding villages

Mane gave £500,000 towards the construction of a hospital, serving the town and 34 surrounding villages

Tamba is reportedly aged 19, with both bride and groom wearing all white on their special day

Tamba is reportedly aged 19, with both bride and groom wearing all white on their special day

The stadium is the most recent project to be funded in the town by Mane who reportedly earns around £34m a year with Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr.

Mane who is preparing to lead Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament which starts next weekend donated £250,000 to build a school in Bambali in 2019.

He later gave £500,000 towards the construction of a hospital, serving the town and 34 surrounding villages.

In addition, he has financed the building of a petrol station and a post office as well as the installation of a 4G mobile internet service for his local community, along with free laptops for Bambali High School and grants of $400 each for the best performing students.

Mane is also said to have provided a stipend of 70 euros a month – the equivalent of the minimum wage in Senegal – for every family in his old neighbourhood which has a population of around 2,000 people.

In March 2020, the devout Muslim also provided around £41,000 for Senegal’s national committee fighting Covid-19.

Mane decided to invest in a new football stadium after taking part in a ‘gala’ match with former Premier League stars Papiss Cisse and El-Hadji Diouf in June 2022 on the old earth pitch where he used to play as a boy.

He posted a picture and video of himself on the rain-soaked pitch on his Instagram page which has more than 16m followers.

The images were accompanied by a caption saying: ‘Heading back to the source with a gala game at Bambaly pitch where it all started!!! A big thank you ?? to my brothers.’

He pledged to revamp the pitch at the event, and proved he was true to his word by financing the work for the new mini stadium called Stade de Bambali.

Mane spoke of his happiness at providing the facility at a ceremony when he cut a ribbon in Senegal’s national colours to declare it open.

The pitch replaces the former football field in Bambali which used to become a mud bath in wet weather

The pitch replaces the former football field in Bambali which used to become a mud bath in wet weather

The stadium is complete with artificial grass and seats for spectators

The stadium is complete with artificial grass and seats for spectators

He said: ‘It is with immense pride and a heart full of joy that I stand before you on this FIFA standard football field which has a lot of meaning for me.

‘This is not just a gift from me to my beloved village. Above all, it is the symbol of our unity, our strength and our passion for football.’

Fans of the footballer in West Africa praised his latest gift, describing him as a ‘great hero’ on social media.

One supporter wrote: ‘Congratulations bro. There is no place like home.’ Another added: ‘Am super proud of this man. God will bless you always’.

Mane was born to Guinean parents in Bambali and has recalled how he used to play football with a grapefruit instead of a ball.

His rags to riches story was revealed in a 2020 documentary called Made in Senegal when he told how his father, a local Imam, died when he was just seven-years-old after having to be taken to a neighbouring village for medical help as there was no hospital in Bambali.

Mane described the circumstances of his father’s death as a major reason for his philanthropy in Senegal’s Sédhiou province, where the World Bank estimates almost 70% of families live in poverty.

He added in the film: ‘I remember my sister was also born at home because there is no hospital in our village. It was a really, really sad situation for everyone. I wanted to build one to give people hope.’

Mane is featured being mobbed by excited locals on a visit to Bambali in the documentary which is available to view for free on Rakuten TV.

Mane and Tamba were married in a low-key ceremony believed to have taken place earlier this week

Mane and Tamba were married in a low-key ceremony believed to have taken place earlier this week

Mane went to Liverpool for a reported £34million in 2016, making him the most expensive ever African player in history at the time

Mane went to Liverpool for a reported £34million in 2016, making him the most expensive ever African player in history at the time 

Fans of the footballer in West Africa praised his latest gift, describing him as a 'great hero' on social media

Fans of the footballer in West Africa praised his latest gift, describing him as a ‘great hero’ on social media

He is shown addressing a crowd of youths outside the new school he built and telling them that ‘education is the key’ for a better life, and insisting: ‘School comes first.’

Mane adds in his commentary: ‘When you see these kind of people and the offerings in front of the house, you think: ‘Wow, I have to work even harder for them’.

He goes on to say: ‘Maybe if there had been a better school when I was younger, maybe I could have studied more. But it was not the case – I was in the village.

‘So all the boys there want to play football and no one wants to go to school any more. They just want to be a footballer like me … But I always tell them to make sure they have to be well educated and go to school.

‘Of course, they can keep playing football, but it will help you more to be successful in what you are doing if you do both. It’s not like when I was young any more because it was very difficult back then.’

Liverpool's Sadio Mane smiles at the fuel station's opening

He has transformed his home village after pledging over £700,000 to construct new buildings

Sadio Mane returned to Bambali in Senegal in 2022 to open the village’s new petrol station

Mane has financed the building of a petrol station and a post office as well as the installation of a 4G mobile internet service for his local community

Mane has financed the building of a petrol station and a post office as well as the installation of a 4G mobile internet service for his local community

Mane ran away from home at the age of 15 with the help of a childhood friend Luc Djiboune after failing to convince his family to allow him to abandon his education so he could pursue his ambition of becoming a professional footballer.

He began his professional career with French club Metz before signing for Red Bull Sakzberg in 2012 and transferring to Southampton for a club record fee of £11.8 million in 2014.

Mane then went to Liverpool for a reported £34million in 2016, making him the most expensive ever African player in history at the time.

He joined Bayern Munich in June 2022 for a reported £27.4million, rising to a potential £35million based on appearances and achievements before signing for Al-Nassr in the Saudi pro league in August last year.

Mane previous revealed his father died after not being able to get to hospital. He has since built a health facility in his childhood village

Mane previous revealed his father died after not being able to get to hospital. He has since built a health facility in his childhood village

The £455,000 hospital serves 34 villages in the surrounding area

Mane also hands out €70 monthly support packages to every family in the village

The former Liverpool forward visited Bambali’s £455,000 hospital which he funded

Mane remains an ambassador for Right To Play, an international non-profit organization with a mission to empower vulnerable children.

He has collaborated with the non-profit to provide equality and empowerment to provide access to sport for boys and girls in Senegal.

Mane’s wedding is believed to have taken place on Sunday in Keur Massar, an area in the capital city of Dakar, just six days before the start of the Africa Cup of Nations on January 13.

The star had previously kept his relationship with Tamba a secret before the ceremony attended by family, friends and fellow footballers.

Mane has given free laptops to Bambali High School and grants of $400 each for the best performing students

Mane has given free laptops to Bambali High School and grants of $400 each for the best performing students

Mane previously donated £250,000 to build a school in Bambali in 2019

Mane previously donated £250,000 to build a school in Bambali in 2019

Tribune reported in 2022 that Mane had spoken about the type of woman he would marry.

He said: ‘I’ve seen a lot of girls asking me why I am not married, but sorry you might be wasting your time. The woman I marry will not be on social networks,

‘I want to marry a woman who respects God and prays well. Everyone has their own way of making their choice of love.’

Pictures of his wedding have been published on Instagram by photography company @Magvision_Evens_Officiel. The photos show Mane and his wife, the daughter of an architect, holding hands and posing after the ceremony.

The mosque built by Mane. His father was the Imam of the village's old mosque

The mosque built by Mane. His father was the Imam of the village’s old mosque

One image shows the pair sitting below a display of roses, with the words ‘Mrs Mane’ imprinted on the wall.

A video posted on X (formerly Twitter) by @abdullahayofel showed the two smiling and laughing as they sat together on a sofa after their wedding.

It was captioned: ‘A very simple and humble man, congratulations Sadio Mane. May Allah bless your union.’

The wedding photos show Aisha wearing a mermaid-style intricate, fitted, lacey dress, with long sleeves and a silky veil.

Other photos show her in a second outfit – a silk white top and skirt combo, which she has teamed with a chunky gold necklace and earrings. The bride also has henna on both hands.

Mane is seen wearing traditional Senegalese dress in the pictures.

Fuente

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