Sadio Mane has snubbed former Liverpool teammates Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk while naming his ultimate player.
The 30-year-old, who ended his six-year spell with Liverpool in order to join German giants Bayern Munich last summer, was asked to pick a player for the following categories: speed, dribbling, intelligence, flair, finishing, leader ability and defending.
Only one current Liverpool player was named by Mane – and that was Jordan Henderson for the English midfielder’s leadership qualities.
Let’s take a closer look at Mane’s picks:
Speed: Alphonso Davies
The obvious choice, surely. Alphonso Davies is absolutely rapid.
Dribbling: Jamal Musiala
High praise indeed for the 19-year-old, who represented England at various youth levels before making his senior Germany debut in 2021.
Intelligence: Joshua Kimmich
Bayern Munich and Germany regular Joshua Kimmich is a class act. It’s no surprise that Mane rates him as the most intelligent footballer he’s played with.
Flair: Leroy Sane
Did Mane play with anyone more skilful than Leroy Sane at Liverpool? Thiago, perhaps? Salah?
Finishing: Divock Origi
Okay, we didn’t see this answer coming. Salah scored goals for fun during his time playing alongside Mane.
Origi, on the other hand, netted 41 goals in 175 games for Liverpool – giving him an average of one goal every 4.2 games.
Leader ability: Jordan Henderson
Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller and Kimmich are Bayern’s Munich’s captains but Mane has overlooked them all in favour of Hendo.
Defending: Kalidou Koulibaly
Kalidou Koulibaly is Mane’s international teammate, which may explain why he chose the Chelsea defender over Van Dijk. But in the eyes of many, Van Dijk has been the world’s best centre-back for several years now.
Koulibaly, meanwhile, has struggled during his debut season in the Premier League.
Video: Sadio Mane selects his Ultimate Player
Watch the video of Mane choosing his Ultimate Player in full here:
How is Mane getting on at Bayern Munich?
Mane has been out of action since November with a knee injury but started the season well, scoring 11 goals in his first 23 games.
He won his first trophy with Bayern last July, scoring Bayern’s second goal in a 5-3 win over RB Leipzig in the German Super Cup.
Mane returned to full team training on Sunday and his recovery from injury is a timely boost for manager Julian Nagelsmann, whose team were beaten 3-2 by Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.
Bayern now find themselves level on points (43) with Borussia Dortmund and Union Berlin at the top of the Bundesliga table after 21 games.
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