Sadio Mane told his Senegal team-mates he was ‘very proud’ of their run to the last-16 at the World Cup.
The Bayern Munich star missed the tournament in Qatar after being ruled out by a knee injury.
And after Senegal went out following the 3-0 defeat by England on Sunday night, Mane posted an emotional message on Instagram.
He said: ‘Dear brothers, the people are very proud of your journey and you have put the balm in the hearts of Senegalese and all supporters by defending the national flag with dignity.
‘Continue learning and good luck. We will go in search of more trophies Inshallah.’.
The loss of Mane, who has 34 goals in 93 caps for his country and is a the two-time African player of the year, was a huge blow to the African champions.
The former Liverpool star was instrumental for the team on their way to winning this year’s Africa Cup of Nations as they beat Egypt on penalties in the final, having scored four goals during the tournament.
He was included in Senegal’s squad for the tournament in Qatar despite his tournament participation being put in doubt.
He suffered a knee injury in Bayern’s 6-1 win over Werder Bremen last month.
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