Sadio Mane has rubbished suggestions he has a rivalry with former Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah after pipping the Egyptian to a second consecutive CAF Player of the Year award.
Mane, who left Liverpool for Bayern Munich earlier this summer, fought off competition from Salah and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to win the prize – which has not been handed out since 2019 because of Covid-19.
Before the ceremony, Mane dismissed the idea of a rivalry, professional or otherwise, with Salah and insisted the pair are actually closer than a lot of reports would suggest.
“People sometimes say there’s a rivalry between me and [Salah], but you know I don’t see myself having a rivalry with any player to be honest,” Mane told GOAL. “We have good relations, we text each other. I think the media always try to [aggravate] things.
“You know I don’t just have [relationships] with one player, but with every player I’ve played with in the world. You can ask whoever you want in the club, or wherever I go. I have good relationships with all players.”
Mane brought his six-year Liverpool career to a close this summer as he left to join Bayern Munich, ending his Anfield tenure with 120 goals and 48 assists in 269 games.
He won six trophies with Liverpool, but it’s his success away from the Reds which set him apart from Salah in the CAF Player of the Year voting.
At this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, Mane netted the winning penalty to beat Salah’s Egypt in the final, leading Senegal to their first AFCON triumph.