Sadio Mané is, officially, a Bayern Munich player today, ending a six year run at Anfield and departing as one of the club’s greatest ever forwards, the club’s all time 14th top goalscorer and a player who in his time at the club was key every major trophy available.
He arrived from Southampton in 2016 at 24 years of age, Jürgen Klopp’s first major signing, and grew into one of football’s best and most well-rounded forwards over the next six years. Now 30, he heads to Germany in search of a new challenge.
“Obviously it is really, really strange to no longer be a Liverpool player after six years spent at Anfield,” Mané said. “But of course I had a great time, an unbelievable time, and since my first day I really, really enjoyed training, playing, at Anfield especially and in front of these amazing supporters.
“Now it’s come to the end, so what can you say? I can say of course we won a lot and I spent a great, great time. An unbelievable time at Liverpool, we won a lot [but] like I always say, my life is always [about the] challenge.
“I want to go somewhere else to see a new challenge. It is not anything else, it is just a challenge because for me I want to always be challenging myself to get better and better.”
New teammates and potentially a new role will bring new challenges for Mané at Bayern, where he will be expected to help the Bundesliga’s only legitimate title contenders to their eleventh straight league title with anything less would representing a shock failure.
Real success at his new club would mean arriving as replacement for Robert Lewandowski, one of the game’s greatest ever goal scorers, and winning in Europe where Bayern have six European Cups and most recently won UEFA’s top club prize in 2020.
Meanwhile, Liverpool will look to a new group of attackers including summer signing Darwin Núñez and January arrival Luis Diaz to once again challenge on all fronts, with a particular priority on the league after finishing a point behind Manchester City last season.
“I think whoever is leaving Liverpool, with those supporters you will always miss them,” he added. “The best in the world and I have always said it. Of course I really enjoyed the time and playing at Anfield I think always gives you so much power because of the fans.
“So for sure I am going to miss you guys. I love you guys. I still have my house in Liverpool and everything so for sure I will come back and I would love one day to come back to Anfield to say hi and of course to watch Liverpool playing because for me, I am going to be Liverpool’s number one fan after the supporters.”