African champion Sadio Mane suffered an injury during Bayern Munich’s match with Werder Bremen at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday evening, ruling him out of the World Cup according to reports from L’Equipe.
According to the French newspaper, Mane is facing a tendon injury and will not be fit in time to feature at the upcoming World Cup.
The report is yet to be backed up by Bayern Munich or Senegalese coach Aliou Cisse, who is expected to make his roster call this coming Friday.
If confirmed, the World Cup will be absent of Africa’s best footballer and Africa Cup of Nations champion.
Mane came off for Bayern just 20 minutes into the game after hurting his tibia, leading the superstar to clinch his own leg.
The 30-year-old injury overshadowed the 6-1 thrashing of Werder Bremen as his World Cup appearance is only 12 days away.
After the match, head coach Julien Nagelsmann confirmed the injury but hoped it wasn’t serious.
“He got hit on the top part of the tibia, which always makes you feel uncomfortable. He needs to have an X-ray to look whether there is anything bad because this part easily splinters. We hope that it’s nothing,” Nagelsmann said.
“I didn’t see him after the game, I hope it’s not a big injury. But I don’t know at the moment. We’ll see tomorrow and then give an update,” the Bayern boss added.
Bayern’s assistant coach Dino Toppmoller voiced a favourable update to Bayern and Senegalese fans.
“He got hit on the nerve in the knee area. Apparently, it’s nothing that bad.”
Champions of Africa Cup of Nations, Senegal, has been dubbed a dark horse for this year’s upcoming tournament due to their ability to defend and attack the pitch.
In an interview with FIFA earlier this year, Mane reminisced about Senegal’s World Cup journey, praising the 2002 campaign in South Korea and Japan.
“The 2002 generation are our role models. That team put Senegal on the world football map. They rewrote our nation’s history and were their heirs. They’re record-breakers, and all records are there to be broken,” said the Bayern Munich forward.
“I can tell you now that we will be heading to Qatar with a clear idea of our strengths and will be giving our all to get as far as possible. I know that’s also what our predecessors wanted to see from us. You only have to look at just how emotional they were when we lifted the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year,” Mane also said.
Senegal will begin their World Cup journey against the Netherlands on 21 November and meet hosts Qatar four days later before facing Ecuador on 29 November at Khalifa International Stadium.