Senegal-born footballer, Sadio Mane has emerged the 2021 Global Muslim Celebrity of the Year, an award organised by Muslim News Nigeria, the most authoritative Islamic newspaper in Nigeria, #MNAward2021.
Mane, who joined Bayern Munich from Liverpool in a shocking move at the start of the current season after six years of blossoming career in Merseyside, was announced the winner on Saturday, October 22, by the newspaper’s Publisher, Alhaji Rasheed Abubakar, in Lagos, Southwest, Nigeria.
His announcement as the winner of the category created to celebrate Muslim achievers who are showcasing the beauty of Islam in the entertainment industry, is coming barely a day after he won the maiden edition of the Socrates Award for his humanitarian supports.
Mane, also ranked as 2nd place for the 2022 Ballon d’Or, was described as an Ambassador of Islam by Alhaji Abubakar, who does not hide his identity and solidarity with Islam, even right from his days in the Premier League.
According to Abubakar, “There are many Muslims in the entertainment industry, such as movies, music, sports, even modelling, but the footballers identify more with Islam and its values on and off the pitch.
“That’s why another footballer, former Arsenal star, Mesut Ozil, won the 2020 Global Muslim Celebrity Awarded announced last year. This year, after critical reviews and assessments, the organiser of #MNAwards announces the Senegalese, Mane as the winner of the 2021 Global Muslim Celebrity of the Year.
Alhaji Abubakar said Mane has been a good example for Muslim celebrities as he clearly draws a line between religion and social life.
“He achieved so much as a footballer in the last season, paving a way for him to become African Footballer of the Year. During his stint at Liverpool, he got several medals and laurels for the club, helping the club return to its glory days, which included the Champions League trophy in 2019.
“Sadio Mane has a trademark of observing sujud (prostration to Allah) when he scores a goal. He is one of the most humble persons on earth, despite his riches and submits himself to Allah. We can’t forget his act of cleaning a mosque toilet and bathroom where he used to pray while in Liverpool.
“He is also well known for supporting humanitarian causes, especially in his local community of Senegal. He has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to build schools, hospitals even mosques and also given families monthly stipends and kids free clothes, among others generous acts. He says he doesn’t care about money or fame, the only important thing is to give back.
Abubakar, in the press release, described him as a devout Muslim with moral and dignity, who stays true to his religion, citing the recent Bayern Munich’s Oktoberfest photoshoot where all his teammates displayed bottles of beers, but he alongside his Moroccan teammate, Noussair Mazraoui chose not to, due to his Islamic faith.
“For his brilliant outings as a footballer, support for humanitarian causes and identification with Islam, even as a celebrity, Sadio Mane is our Global Muslim Celebrity of the Year. He deservedly earns this award and at Muslim News, we are proud to have his like as a celebrity. We wish him success in his career.
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