Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 28 September 2021

Sadio Mane's legendary generosity and more of the week's best sportswriting

Here’s a selection of some of our favourites pieces that were published over the past seven days.

shels-celebrate-in-the-dressing-room-with-the-trophy-after-wining-the-league Shelbourne players celebrate after being crowned 2019 SSE Airtricity League first Division champions. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“Insiders recall the time that John Delaney and his entourage arrived in an Irishtown pub and the self-inflating man wanted to spread his largesse by buying all and sundry a drink. He was told, in no uncertain terms, where to go. To say that many Shels fans are enjoying the current trials and tribulations of the FAI would be an understatement.”

– Paul O’Mahony writes for Hot Press about the revival of Shelbourne FC. 

iaaf-world-athletics-championships-2019-preview-day-three IAAF president Seb Coe. Source: Mike Egerton

“Coe is a keen football fan. He must know that any smart manager plays his star performers in their best positions. Chopping so many events is downright peculiar given the IAAF recently made great virtue of the fact that 43 countries won medals at the world championships in Doha.”

– Nike and the IAAF are taken to task by The Guardian’s Sean Ingle.

liverpool-v-krc-genk-uefa-champions-league-group-e-anfield Liverpool and Senegal forward Sadio Mane. Source: Peter Byrne

“Diatta takes me around the corner to a building site, where a new hospital is under construction. ‘All from Sadio,’ he says. ‘It will serve not just Bambali but the other villages nearby.’ Mane’s generosity is legendary in these parts. It was widely reported that when his team reached the Champions League final against Real Madrid last year, he sent a huge parcel of Liverpool shirts — 350 of them, his uncle Ibrahim estimates — for the children of Bambali to wear while cheering him on. Less well-known is that Mane sends every family in Bambali and the nearby villages a gift at Ramadan every year. ‘It’s something like XAF 50,000 (around £65) for every person,’ Ibrahim says.”

– (€) Oliver Kay of The Athletic watches Liverpool’s game against Manchester City from the Senegalese village of Bambali, where Sadio Mane was raised.

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Screen Shot 2019-11-15 at 16.13.24 The Simpsons: Lisa on Ice.

“The lack of fandom wasn’t a problem, but capturing hockey’s unique movements did present some challenges. To better educate himself, Anderson ordered a batch of VHS highlight tapes, tuned into the NHL playoffs for the first time, and made several trips to scout youth games at nearby Pickwick Ice in Burbank, Ca., taking notes on how players looked stickhandling and shooting. One day Anderson even brought the entire crew to Pickwick during an extended lunch break.”

– Sports Illustrated’s Alex Prewitt looks back at the classic hockey-themed episode of The Simpsons.

england-women-v-germany-women-international-friendly-wembley-stadium England women's football manager Phil Neville watches on during their defeat to Germany at Wembley. Source: EMPICS Sport

“After all, until recently enough, the most cutting analysis pundits/reporters offered on the women’s game was something along the lines of ‘yes, they lost 16-2, but the girls gave it everything and they’re fabulous role models’. And a goal deflected off the right-back’s arse from two feet would be a Puskás contender. And a save from a shot tapped straight at the goalkeeper from the other end of the pitch would be likened to Gordon Banks defying Pelé in 1970.”

– Mary Hannigan of the Irish Times on why there’s ‘no point in plámásing’ sportswomen.

scotland-v-san-marino-uefa-euro-2020-qualifying-group-i-hampden-park A view of the scoreboard during San Marino's recent defeat to Scotland. Source: Steve Welsh

“Along with a group of fellow San Marino sympathisers, Visemoli set up a fan group in 2012 and christened it the Brigata Mai Una Gioia (The Never One Joy Brigade) in a self-deprecating nod to the grim existence of following a side that is currently ranked 209th and joint-last in the Fifa world ranking. The group has over 200 members, but generally only 10 or 11 people attend matches at a time. Massed behind their blue-and-white group banner, they valiantly cheer on a team that has lost 157 of the 162 games it has ever contested.”

– For Bleacher Report, Tom Williams asks: What’s it like to support the world’s worst international football teams? 

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