Star Bayern Munich forward Sadio Mane has wasted no time fitting in with his new teammates, revealing he brought his own lederhosen with him to the Bavarian capital this summer.
Speaking with Bayern Munich’s member magazine 51 in an interview published on Tuesday, Mane said he had held onto a pair of traditional leather trousers given to him during his time at Red Bull Salzburg in the hopes of one day wearing them at Munich’s famous Oktoberfest.
“Unfortunately not yet, but I’m really looking forward to it,” Mane said when asked if he had ever made an appearance at the 222-year-old festival.
“I even have lederhosen at home from my time in Salzburg. I kept them because I always liked wearing them and I’m generally very interested in other cultures,” he said.
“I’ve actually been to the city [Munich] several times with friends, and once we were at the Allianz Arena, at a [UEFA] Champions League game against Arsenal. At that time, I simply couldn’t imagine playing there myself one day,” Mane added.
Mane, 30, is not only to feature front and center when Bayern Munich make their annual pilgrimage to the festival this September, but he has already shown how crucial he will be to the German record champions’ on-field plans in the 2022-2023 season.
Mane scored a goal in Bayern’s 5-3 DFL-Supercup win over RB Leipzig on Saturday, his first competitive outing for the club.
His arrival in Munich has helped assuage the concerns of Bayern supporters worried about the departure of Robert Lewandowski as the club pushes for a record-extending 11th straight Bundesliga title.
The two-time African Player of the Year sent out a stark warning after the game, saying that Bayern “can do better,” despite lifting their 10th Supercup trophy.
“It’s only the beginning of the season. We still have time to work towards perfection,” Mane said.
The Senegalese scored 120 goals in 269 appearances for Liverpool, where he won several trophies including the Champions League and English Premier League.
His knack for scoring crucial goals in big games — including a stunning swivel-kick past Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to help see Liverpool past Bayern in 2019 — will come in handy as Munich look to replace Lewandowski’s stellar output in front of goal.
The Pole scored 344 in 375 games over eight seasons for Bayern, although Munich believe Lewandowski’s departure could be a blessing in disguise.
Coach Julian Nagelsmann said this year’s Bayern were “a little harder to work out” than previous incarnations, while chief executive Oliver Kahn said Mane’s arrival made the club less predictable.
“You could see how many opportunities we had [and] how surprising we can be,” Kahn said.
Mane leaned heavily on the advice of former Bayern midfielder Thiago Alcantara, his teammate at Liverpool, when deciding to make the move to the Bundesliga.
“Before my transfer, I spoke with Thiago. He told me everything about the team and the city. Everyone knows Bayern’s identity,” Mane said.
“For me, this ‘Mia san mia’ means that the team always comes first. It’s the togetherness that counts, not the individual. That’s what makes FC Bayern so special,” he said referring to the team’s motto “We are who we are.”
Not only has Mane brought with him blistering pace, a constant goal threat and experience at the game’s highest levels, but Bayern’s new No. 17 has swelled Munich’s supporter ranks by about 17 million.
“My country is made up of 17 million football mad people and they’re all Bayern fans now,” Mane said. “I think you’ll see a lot of Senegal flags in the Allianz Arena this season.”
Bayern Munich start the 60th Bundesliga season on Friday night away at Eintracht Frankfurt.
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