Bayern Munich was well represented for a plethora of different accolades at the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony in Paris, for which Sadio Mane finished second in the running behind Real Madrid and France’s Karim Benzema. Mane also received the first ever Socrates award, which is designed to recognize “the best social initiative by committed champions,” as Mane is very involved with social causes off the pitch, especially in his native Senegal. Jamal Musiala was voted the third best young player in Europa behind Barcelona’s Xavi and Real Madrid’s Eduardo Camavinga in the Koppa trophy ranking, which is largely considered to be a bit of a snub, especially in the Bundesliga and German football community.
Reflecting on what was a proud night for FC Bayern Munich, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic, who was in attendance in Paris, highlighted the accomplishments of both Mane and Musiala. “Sadio Mané is an absolute world class player and has a great character. He has proven to be one of the most impressive attacking players in the Premier League and Champions League. He’s already very important for our team. So I’m very happy for him,” Brazzo told Bayern’s website (via @iMiaSanMia).
“Sadio deserves to be recognized as one of the best players in our game. Despite all his success, he has always remained this humble guy who cares about others, feels responsible for them and supports them,” Brazzo continued in his admiration of Mane.
He couldn’t be more right, either. Mane is one of the most humble superstars in the game today and it’s a huge part of the reason as to why he’s so well liked by everyone. Hopefully it’s the first of many more major awards for Mane at Bayern to come. “This is also the reason why he was also honored for his social commitment. You absolutely want to have this player and his qualities in your team. I’m convinced that FC Bayern will experience great moments with Sadio in the future,” Brazzo concluded.
For Musiala, there’s already been an outcry with the fact that he didn’t win the Kopa trophy, but finishing third behind two other quality U-21 players is nothing to be ashamed about. Brazzo eluded to just how important of player Musiala has already been for Bayern, even at such a young age — it’s not something that’s easy to do, especially with the pressures that come at a club like Bayern. “We’re also very happy for Jamal Musiala, he deserves it too; at his age it’s hard to imagine our team without him, that’s quite an achievement. The fact he is one of the three best young players in the world is both a reward and a commitment,” Brazzo explained.
Brazzo was a big part of convincing Musiala to come to Bayern from Chelsea, and it’s his hope that he continues on the upward trajectory that his career is already on at the moment. “It is now Jamal’s task to continue on the path he took at Bayern professionally and with commitment, and we will all support him. We’re very proud of Jamal and one thing is clear, his development isn’t over yet, there’s room for more and we’re looking forward to it,” Brazzo said.