Mane relishing Bayern 'challenge' after bringing end to trophy-laden Liverpool spell

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Sadio Mane says he achieved everything he could at Liverpool and is excited to embark on a new challenge after signing for Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Mane has left Liverpool after a hugely successful six-year spell at the club, for whom he scored 90 goals in 196 Premier League games, a tally bettered only by Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy (104), Mane's Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah (118) and Tottenham's Harry Kane (134) in that time.

The Senegal international's six major trophy wins at Anfield included the Champions League in 2018-19 and Liverpool's first-ever Premier League title the following year, as well as the FIFA Club World Cup.

Mane had made his intention to join Bayern clear after scoring 23 goals in all competitions as Jurgen Klopp's side won both domestic cups in the 2021-22 season, and his €41million move to Germany was confirmed by the Bavarian giants on Wednesday.

In a farewell interview with the Reds' official media channels, Mane declared himself "Liverpool's number one fan" and said his move to Germany was motivated purely by a desire to prove himself elsewhere.

"Obviously it is strange – really, really strange – to no longer be a Liverpool player after six years," he said. "But of course, I had a great time, an unbelievable time.

"Since my first day I really, really enjoyed training, playing at Anfield especially, and in front of these amazing supporters.

"I think whoever is leaving Liverpool, with those supporters you will always miss them because [they are] the best in the world and I have always said it. Playing at Anfield I think always gives you so much power because of the fans.

"I still have my house in Liverpool and everything so for sure I will come back, of course, and I would love one day to come back to Anfield to say hi to them and of course to watch Liverpool playing. I am going to be Liverpool's number one fan – after the supporters!"

Asked if he felt he had achieved everything he could with the Reds, Mane added: "Yeah, for sure. Like I said, from the first day I came to the club, I spoke to the boss when I was in Southampton and I think at that time we were not even in the Champions League.

"He called me and I said, 'For sure.' I just decided in my heart that I am coming to Liverpool because that is where I see myself, and for me it was the right time and the right club to achieve everything.

"I can say of course we won a lot and I spent a great, great time there. Like I always say, my life is always [about a] challenge and when it came, I said to the club that I want to leave, I want to go somewhere else to see a new challenge.

"It is not anything else, it is just a challenge because for me I want to always be challenging myself to get better and better.

"There was a lot of speculation but I'm not a confused boy in my head. I know what I want and I know what is professional so for me, I was not even thinking about it [during the season] because I was still a Liverpool player and we had really, really important games.

"I will say that when I was a kid that was my dream, to win everything possible: trophies and individual trophies as well, that was my dream. That is the reason I never stopped working, I am a very hard worker. Of course, for me it was the right time and the right club."

Mane formed part of a fearsome front three alongside Salah and Roberto Firmino at Anfield, which has been refreshed with Liverpool's signings of Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez this year.

And 30-year-old Mane thinks the Reds' goalscoring burden remains in good hands despite his exit.

"Bobby and Mo – what players!" he added. "I think there are no other secrets because playing alongside these great players, they make everything easier for me.

"I think I am just supporting this and especially Bobby, who always dropped and made space for me and Mo, I think it was just incredible.

"These two players, Liverpool still have great players and you have now Diogo [Jota] and Diaz also – wow, what a player they have! But it's normal, it's the best club in the world, so I wish them all the best."

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