Former Liverpool and Bayern Munich forward, Sadio Mane, has completed his transfer to Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr, joining the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Disappointing Season at Bayern Munich
Mane spent just one year with the German champions, a tenure marred by injury, lackluster performance, and high-profile disputes. His underwhelming performance, scoring only 12 goals in 38 appearances, fell far short of expectations. He was also involved in a physical incident with teammate Leroy Sane following Manchester City’s Champions League defeat, further damaging his term.
Bayern CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen reflected on Mane’s disappointing season, stating that “it certainly wasn’t an easy year for him” and he “couldn’t have the impact at FC Bayern that we all and he himself had hoped for.”
Thomas Tuchel, the manager of Bayern Munich, echoed a similar view, noting the tragic circumstances while expressing empathy and support for Mane. “Sometimes things don’t go as planned,” Tuchel explained, “but in this particular case, it was the best solution to untie the knot.”
Mane’s Prominent Career
Despite a tumultuous season, Mane’s legacy as a footballer is strong. Having first moved to England with Southampton, Mane switched to Anfield in 2016. Over his tenure at Liverpool, he made a significant impact, scoring 120 goals in 269 appearances. Mane’s impressive performance helped secure the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup, and Club World Cup titles.
However, a long-term injury disabled him right before the 2022 World Cup, preventing him from competing with Senegal, whom he had previously led to their first Africa Cup of Nations victory and World Cup qualifying.
A New Chapter with Al-Nassr
Mane’s transfer to Al-Nassr is significant both financially and for the squad. Mane will make more than £34m (€40m) per year tax-free with a weekly salary of more than £650,000. If he keeps the contract until 2027, he may make about £136 million in total.
At Al-Nassr, Mane will be teaming up with another football great – five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, and other recent signings like Croatia midfielder Marcelo Brozovic, Brazil full-back Alex Telles, and Ivory Coast midfielder Seko Fofana.
“Dreesen expressed optimism for Mane’s future in the aftermath of his departure.” “We came to the mutual decision that he will start a new chapter in his career at a different club. We wish him all the best and lots of success for the challenges ahead at Al-Nassr.”
The world will be watching to see how Mane adjusts to his new squad and if he can regain his peak performance in the Saudi Pro League in the coming season.