Inside Sadio Mane’s terrible Bayern Munich season as he joins Cristiano Ronaldo as a Liverpool legend

The legendary Liverpool player, who spent six years with the Reds before joining Bayern Munich last year, is ready to team up with Cristiano Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia following a disastrous season there.

The last time Sadio Mane and Cristiano Ronaldo played together on a soccer field, it revealed a lot about the direction each of their careers were taking.

For Liverpool’s game against Manchester United in October 2021, Mane was benched since he was no longer a lock to play in a front three alongside Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah. Mane then watched as his replacement, Diogo Jota, scored the second of Liverpool’s five unanswered goals. Salah scored three goals.

Although he would soon be back in Jurgen Klopp’s team, the Senegalese’s appearance for the final quarter of an hour as Liverpool gleefully knocked the ball around a rapidly emptying Old Trafford, with a gloomy Ronaldo standing around and watching it happen, was a sign that Mane’s untouchable status for the bigger games had vanished.

When Liverpool lost the Champions League final to Real Madrid, there was a sense of staleness about the team. By the end of the season, Mane was a regular in the lineup, performing effectively as the centre striker with Luis Diaz on the left.

After the championship, Carlo Ancelotti referred to them as predictable, so it wasn’t too shocking to learn that Sadio Mane would leave Liverpool after six successful seasons and sign with Bayern Munich.

It was impossible to foresee how disastrous things would turn out for him in Bavaria.

Too Mane miles on the clock

Mane may have experienced an adrenaline rush from his new surroundings because he scored six goals in his first six appearances for Bayern. However, the fact that those goals came in victories of 5-3, 6-1, 7-0, and 5-0 showed just how difficult the Bundesliga was for him to adjust to after spending so many years working hard in the Premier League.

Then, though, it appeared as though those years had begun to catch up with them, and Julian Nagelsmann’s remarks raised some red flags after he was replaced during a Champions League match against Barcelona while his team was on a five-game goalless streak.

The Bayern coach stated, “He gave so much to Liverpool.” He is a recent signee. All he has to do is adjust.

He made an effort. He will succeed for us, I’m positive.

But even though he scored more goals and led his team to more victories, Mane was rarely allowed enough playing time and was being taken off the field earlier and earlier.

The German media quickly turned against him because they were expecting to see the same Mane that they had seen at Liverpool, the player who scored a wonderful brace in Munich to help the Reds win the Champions League in 2019.

In a 1-0 loss against Augsburg in September, he was made fun of for having fewer shots than Manuel Neuer. A month later, after squandering a great opportunity against Borussia Dortmund, TV station Sport1 quipped: “The man fits into the Bayern team like tofu in white sausage.”

One more German columnist questioned: “Nobody says it out loud: Mane for Lewandowski – who actually came up with this nonsense?”

He was clearly suffering by November when he was benched in favor of Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, and then tragedy struck.

No Qatar hero

Mane left the field after 20 minutes of a Bundesliga match at home against Werder Bremen two weeks before the World Cup in Qatar due to a leg injury. His expression said it all.

At the age of 30, the forward would have been severely hurt by missing the championship game in the winter. During the tournament, Mane’s image was on one of Doha’s tallest buildings, yet he was nowhere to be found on the field, depriving Africa of the opportunity to watch one of their biggest players.

“In this case, it’s not just about the Senegalese. In response to the opening query during his first World Cup press conference, manager Aliou Cisse remarked, “I think people all over the world.

He was the second-best player in the world and represented Senegal as well as the African continent, so what occurred saddens the entire football community.

“It makes me so, so sad for him. We particularly wish him a quick recovery. I’m hoping he resumes playing football as soon as possible.

Mane would frequently get in touch with members of the team to try and inspire them during the competition, and he was highlighted at almost every press appearance with the Senegal team.

Senegal would ultimately lose to England in the round of 16, where Mane’s presence undoubtedly would have assisted with a few early opportunities.

Who’s the boss?

Mane would start playing again in late February, but Nagelsmann didn’t immediately reintegrate him into the squad.

Following a Champions League victory over PSG, the two reportedly had a falling-out in the locker room, with Mane addressing the coach over the fact that he was only utilized for the final eight minutes.

When Nagelsmann was fired a few weeks later, further information regarding the standoff surfaced. It was claimed that Mane’s behavior startled teammates and staff who were ecstatic over defeating PSG. This inaction became a hot topic in the German media.

The subsequent media statements from players like Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich expressing their amazement at Nagelsmann’s dismissal led many to conclude that the Senegalese player’s locker room had turned against him and wasn’t thrilled with his part in the firing.

Striking Sane

Nagelsmann was succeeded as manager by Thomas Tuchel, but after only a few weeks Mane was back in the news.

The attacker, who had just come off the bench, engaged in an intense conversation with Leroy Sane in the dying seconds of Manchester City’s 3-0 Champions League loss. Mane hit his buddy in the locker room as the argument escalated. He was helpless.

The FC Bayern statement that immediately followed said, “Sadio Mane, 31, will not be in the squad for the home game against 1899 Hoffenheim next Saturday.”

“Mane’s misconduct following FC Bayern’s Champions League match at Manchester City is the cause. Mane will also be charged a fine.

This marked the beginning of Mane’s Bayern career ending because he was now shunned. His final 18 appearances for the club, in which he only managed one goal, included the City game.

Tuchel was frequently questioned about his future and refused to provide any promises, but it said a lot that he didn’t even make the bench in Bayern’s final season-ending match at Cologne as they chased a championship goal.

Having scored the 27th goal of a 27-0 victory in preseason, he is now joining Ronaldo at Al-Nassr as the exodus to the Saudi Pro League continues.

The beginning of Mane’s Bayern Munich tenure was equally strange.