With the signing of Sadio Mane (30), FC Bayern Munich has achieved a historic coup, only two other transfers can keep up. A comment.
When the first rumors arose about Sadio Manes moving to Bayern Munich, Lothar Matthäus immediately spoke up. “Of course, his commitment would be an absolute super transfer,” he praised in his skycolumn and rightly so. “He’s a great player and would be a wonderful attraction for the whole Bundesliga.”
The commitment announced by sports director Hasan Salihamidzic before the contract was signed should remind Matthäus of his own move from Inter Milan to FC Bayern: He also came in 1992 as a regular star at a top international club. He was world soccer player and world champion. Although the previous season had been disappointing, Inter regularly featured at the top of what was then the world’s richest league and also won a couple of the then prestigious UEFA Cups.
Newcomers like this are an absolute exception in the history of FC Bayern. Maybe Xabi Alonso, who came from reigning Champions League winners Real Madrid as world and European champions in 2014, which the then sports director Matthias Sammer called a “big moment for the club”. And now Sadio Mane. English champion, winner of the Champions League and Africa Cup of Nations, Liverpool FC regular.
Mane’s commitment is a historic coup for Bayern, which is even better than that of Matthäus and Alonso. Unlike Matthäus, who tore his cruciate ligament shortly before his move, Mane is in great shape and hasn’t had any injury problems lately. Unlike Alonso in Madrid, Mane’s regular place at Liverpool was not in acute danger. At 30, Mane is also younger than Matthäus (31) and Alonso (32) were at the time.
How the previous stars came to FC Bayern
In general, FC Bayern found most of its former and current players abroad or with other Bundesliga clubs when they were younger. Meanwhile, there were always some facilitating restrictions on the other international star commitments.
Before moving to Bayern Munich in 1987, Mark Hughes had not really established himself at FC Barcelona, while former world footballer Jean-Pierre Papin lost his regular place at AC Milan in 1994. Franck Ribery (Olympique Marseille) and Luca Toni (Fiorentina) were world-renowned when they arrived in 2007 as World Cup finalists, but they didn’t come from clubs in the top segment.
Thiago did not go through as a properly established regular player at FC Barcelona in 2013. Neither did Arjen Robben at Real Madrid in 2009 and he also had recurring injury problems. James Rodriguez (2017, Real) and Philippe Coutinho (2019, Barca) were world stars, but they didn’t (anymore) convince their clubs and should be given up anyway. Lucas Hernandez had an injury-ridden season at Atletico Madrid in 2019.
Mane, on the other hand, left Champions League finalists Liverpool as an undisputed regular with the prospect of more years in that role. The fact that Mane chose FC Bayern in this situation is a remarkable statement – regardless of the fact that the flexible attacking player will immediately strengthen the team.