Senegal forward Sadio Mane will miss the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar after suffering an injury on Tuesday at the Allianz Arena in Munich.
The Bayern attacker came off after just 20 minutes of the game against Werder Bremen, which ended 6-1 in favour of the Bundesliga champions.
Senegal’s World Cup campaign is scheduled to kick off in 13 days against The Netherlands at the Al Thumama Stadium, but they will now be without their talisman.
In a decisive penalty to that sealed their fate as champions, Mane led the Teranga Lions to their first-ever Africa Cup of Nations trophy after defeating then-teammate Mohammed Salah’s side, Egypt, 4-2 on penalties in Cameroon.
As Senegal’s highest goal scorer with 34 goals, the former Liverpool player was also pivotal to his country’s qualification where they also beat Egypt for the second time in the year, and also on penalties.
Mane joins a growing list of high profile players who have picked up injuries ahead of the World Cup in Qatar. Some of the players include Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante (France), Timo Werner (Germany), Diogo Jota (Portugal), Georginio Wijnaldum (Netherlands), and Ben Chilwell (England).
Concerns surrounding players’ fitness have been brought to the fore as many leagues around the world are still in play despite some of the players participating at the tournament.
Mane’s injury is said to be related to his tendon and is expected to keep him out for several weeks, L’équipe reports.
Senegal coach and former international Aliou Cissé will reportedly announce his squad for the Qatar tournament on Friday.
The Teranga Lions are in Group A alongside hosts Qatar and Ecuador.