After a very bright start to life at Bayern Munich scoring four goals from his opening three matches of the season across all competitions, Sadio Mane has come under varying degrees of criticism for the amount of clear-cut chances he’s been missing in front of goal. His last goal for Bayern came in the 5-0 Bundesliga win over SC Freiburg just over a week ago, but he quite easily could’ve score more than once in the 5-2, DFB-Pokal win over FC Augsburg. That’s just one example, too. Still, we’ve seen what he’s capable of on his day and his history at Liverpool has shown that he can score important goals during crucial moments of any given season.
In a recent interview with Az, former Bayern player Sammy Kuffour expressed his admiration for not only Mane the footballer, but Mane the man. He also isn’t too worried by some of the criticism the Senegalese attacker has received, knowing that he’s the type of player that is very self-aware and knows what’s expected of him. He doesn’t need the external reminders of when he’s not scoring goals and converting chances that he should be.
“Sadio is a great, great guy, good for the team. Bayern move a lot up front, there are some guys with Sadio, Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sané. That’s great,” Kuffour explained when he was asked to assess Mane’s performances overall in a Bayern shirt thus far. So many question marks were raised going into this season as to what Bayern’s attack would look like without the presence of Robert Lewandowski, but as Kuffour alluded to, the amount of versatile attackers Bayern has makes them very difficult to contain, especially with a player like Mane that can interchange positions so dynamically.
Kuffour also knows that Mane doesn’t need reminders when he’s not playing to his full potential and ability. Knowing this, Kuffour feels that Mane is not far off from bettering himself from second to first in the Ballon d’Or rankings in the near future. “Sadio himself knows that he can do even more. He has just been voted the second best player in the world behind Karim Benzema at the Ballon d’Or. Previously, he was named Africa’s footballer of the year. So he has shown that he can do better,” he enthused, adding, “I hope that he wins the Champions League with Bayern and plays a very good World Cup with Senegal - then he can become the best player in the world.”