At present, fans of Sadio Mane might have to go through unusually hard times. No selfies, no brief chats, not even autographs are allowed despite his latest league goal cheered by thousands of spectators.
Following weeks of drought, his return to a satisfying performance has triggered a wave of relief around the Senegal international. But due to several in-team COVID-19 infections, patience is required when it comes to fans. Training sessions turned into far-away enjoyments.
Bayern have decided to implement distance between their stars and the clubs’ supporters. The former Liverpool star is forced to follow the rules as his teammates do. While the 30-year-old striker is in good health, unlike the recently-infected Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich, safety measures have become inevitable ahead of the Bavarians’ Champions League group encounter against Viktoria Plzen this Tuesday evening in Munich.
Mane might get along much better with the unexpected fan distance as the attacker is enjoying a feel-good programme carried out by many of Bayern’s off-pitch employees.
His working days are shaped by constant inquiries investigating his well-being. “I feel how much I am welcome here, what they do makes me happy,” Mane says, reports Xinhua.
The past weeks have been far from easy as “it is a challenge to change clubs.” Everything is different, the new arrival stated after what he called “eight wonderful years in Liverpool.”
“I am in a new country, everything is new. People, training, everything changes from now to then.”
Challenges didn’t come as a surprise, Mane claims, but it takes some energy and reflection to get through them. But a goal like his strike against league rivals Bayer Leverkusen might crack the cookie “as it helps to experience success for someone overthinking his situation,” as Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann put it.
Mane regards his fourth league goal as a turning point proving his and his team’s qualities. The Champions League crown, he says, remains one of Bayern’s season aims, as things improve step by step.
The former Liverpool star claims to be happy “as I am for the first time in my career part of such a young squad.”
The biggest surprise after joining Bayern “was to see the hunger of the players for success at a fairly young age.” It makes things easier for him to have a talent such as Jamal Musiala, he adds.
The 19-year-old Musiala has currently turned into the Bavarians’ inspiring source, aside from acting as an on-pitch caretaker for established stars such as Mane by opening spaces.
“Training is as intense as games,” Mane is reporting. This, he says, is keeping him continue in his efforts to adjust to his new side. And sooner or later he might again be allowed to meet his fans eye-to-eye.