New Balance have honoured Sadio Mane's Confederation of African Football's (Caf) Player of the Year award by gifting the Senegal man a special signature edition Furon V6, which also gives us our best look to date at the unreleased boot.

Sadio Mane picked up the Confederation of African Football's (Caf) Player of the Year award on Tuesday 7 January at an awards ceremony in Egypt, beating Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah and Manchester City's Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez, and New Balance were quick to recognise the achievement, presenting him with a special signature edition Furon V6, under the header “Rise of a Lion”.

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Mane has already been spotted training in what is likely to be the launch colourway of the next generation Furon, and his special commemorative version merely tweaks that look, toning down the purple in the forefoot while adding some sublime gold detailing that’s fitting for the new king of Africa. 

That gold detailing is executed to perfection through the heel and the striking “NB” logo on the forefoot, while the laces pop with the words “Sadio Mane * African Player Of the Year 2019”, once again in gold. But the standout feature is the special Mane lion crest on the heel. Again adorned with the “African Player of the Year 2019” callout, the lion’s main subtly reads “Mane”, while a streak of hair is coloured gold to reflect the players own unique hair styling.

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As for the boot itself, this presentation pair lets us get a closer look at New Balance’s first-ever knitted boot, and what we now know to be called the ‘Fit Weave’ upper. There’s some definite changes to the underside too, with chevron studs being introduced to an altered soleplate.

The fact that New Balance have unveiled this special edition so readily must mean that we can expect the official launch of the Furon V6 any time now. The "Rise of a Lion" signature version is likely to be a one off release, and we'll have to wait to see if Mane actually wears it in a game.

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Watch this space for news on the official launch of the Furon V6 as and when it happens.