Senegal star Sadio Mane has lost his race to be fit for the 2022 World Cup and has been withdrawn from their squad, the country’s football federation announced on Thursday.
Mane was voted second in the Ballon d’Or last month behind Karim Benzema and the 30-year-old Bayern Munich forward will be sorely missed by the African champions.
The emblematic Mane scored the winning penalty in a shootout victory against Egypt in the African Cup of Nations final and repeated the feat against the same opponents to qualify the Lions of Teranga for the World Cup.
Mane picked up his shin injury playing for Bayern earlier this month but was named in the World Cup squad in the hope he could regain fitness.
But on Thursday Senegal said the former Liverpool star would not make it.
“Unfortunately, today’s (Thursday) MRI shows us that the improvement is not as favorable as we imagined and unfortunately we have to withdraw Sadio from the World Cup,” said team doctor, Manuel Afonso in a video on the official Senegal Twitter account.
Senegal had hoped their talisman would be fit in time for their opening game on November 21 against the Netherlands.
They will also take on hosts Qatar and Ecuador in Group A.
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