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Lederhosen at the ready, Mane fits the bill for Bayern

China Daily | Updated: 2022-08-04 09:06
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Bayern Munich's Senegalese forward Sadio Mane reacts during the German Supercup football match between RB Leipzig and FC Bayern Munich in Leipzig, on July 30, 2022.[Photo/Agencies] 

FRANKFURT-Star Bayern Munich forward Sadio Mane has wasted no time fitting in with his new teammates, revealing he brought his own lederhosen with him to the Bavarian capital this summer.

Speaking with Bayern's club magazine 51 in an interview published Tuesday, Mane said he had held onto a pair of traditional Bavarian trousers given to him in his time at Red Bull Salzburg in the hope of one day wearing them at Munich's famous Oktoberfest.

"Unfortunately not yet, but I'm really looking forward to it," Mane said when asked if he had ever made an appearance at the 222-year-old folk and beer festival.

"I even have lederhosen at home from my time in Salzburg. I kept them because I always liked wearing them and I'm generally very interested in other cultures.

"I've actually been to the city (Munich) several times, with friends. And once we were at the Allianz Arena, at a Champions League game against Arsenal. At that time, I simply couldn't imagine playing there myself one day."

Mane will not only feature front and center when Bayern makes its annual pilgrimage to the festival this September, but he has already shown how crucial he will be to the record German champion's on-field plans in 2022-23.

Mane scored in Bayern's 5-3 Super Cup win over RB Leipzig on Saturday, his first competitive outing for the club.

His arrival in Munich has helped assuage the fears of Bayern fans worried about the departure of Robert Lewandowski as the club pushes for a record-extending 11th straight Bundesliga title.

The two-time African Player of the Year sent out a stark warning after the game, saying Bayern "can do better" despite lifting its tenth Super Cup trophy.

"It's only the beginning of the season. We still have time to work toward perfection," said the 30-year-old.

The Senegalese scored 120 goals in 269 appearances for Liverpool, where he won several trophies including the Champions League and Premier League.

His knack for scoring crucial goals in big games-including a stunning swivel kick past Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to help see Liverpool past Bayern in 2019-will come in handy as the club looks to replace Lewandowski's stellar output in front of goal.

The Pole scored 344 times in 375 games over eight seasons for Bayern, although some believe Lewandowski's departure could be a blessing in disguise.

Head coach Julian Nagelsmann said this year's Bayern is "a little harder to work out" than previous incarnations, while CEO Oliver Kahn said Mane's arrival made the club less predictable.

"You could see how many opportunities we had and how surprising we can be."

'Togetherness counts'

Mane leant heavily on the advice of former Bayern midfielder Thiago Alcantara, his teammate at Liverpool, when deciding to make the move to the Bundesliga.

"Before my transfer, I spoke with Thiago. He told me everything about the team and the city. Everyone knows Bayern's identity.

"For me, this 'Mia san mia' (Bayern's motto 'We are who we are') means that the team always comes first," he added.

"It's the togetherness that counts, not the individual. That's what makes FC Bayern so special."

Not only has Mane brought with him blistering pace, a constant goal threat and experience at the game's highest levels, but Bayern's new No 17 has swelled the club's supporter ranks by around 17 million.

"My country is made up of 17 million football-mad people and they're all Bayern fans now," Mane said.

"I think you'll see a lot of Senegal flags in the Allianz Arena this season."

Bayern kicks off the 60th Bundesliga season on Friday night with an intriguing clash away at reigning Europa League champion Eintracht Frankfurt.




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