Sadio Mane is the latest world-class player to test his skills in the Bundesliga with the reigning champions, but what makes Bayern Munich one of the biggest draws for the game's greatest talents?
Prior to arriving at the record German champions, the Senegalese scoring sensation was a Premier League, UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup winner during six fabulous campaigns with Liverpool. Only last February the 30-year-old also fired his country to Africa Cup of Nations success in Cameroon, Mane even being named the Player of the Tournament. Hungry for a new challenge at the very top, the ex-Metz, Salzburg and Southampton forward was excited and eager to join a team that continues to set the pace in the Bundesliga and is always among the favourites in European competition.
What world-class talent wouldn't want to rub shoulders with some of the game's most iconic players? At Bayern, the current list of footballing household names slip off the tongue. Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller and Joshua Kimmich - to name just a few - have been both revolutionary and standard setting in respective careers that have reaped almost all of the footballing rewards on offer. Entering a dressing-room filled with players as decorated as those at the current Bundesliga champions is a spine-tingling prospect, and one that no doubt moved Mane deeply as he considered his post-Liverpool options.
The 31-time Bundesliga champions and six-time European Cup winners remain a tantalising draw for the best new and established talent. With one of the sport's most exciting and innovative young coaches at the helm, there is clearly plenty for every new arrival to learn. Julian Nagelsmann is still only 34 yet he is already in charge of his third Bundesliga side in Bayern, having previously had successful stints at Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig.
A Bundesliga champion in his first season at the Allianz Arena, Nagelsmann's training ground invention and tactical vision is simply startling in one so young, while his solid player rapport is widely spoken of.
At the young tactician's disposal is a fearsome squad that blends lots of young talent with the aforementioned 'old guard'. Take Alphonso 'Phonzy' Davies, the versatile Canadian full-back whose frightening top speed down the left flank - he's Bayern's quickest player at 22.4 mph - makes him a nightmare for opponents to face. Close control, one-v-ones and crossing, Davies has it all with youth to boot. The 21-year-old won the sextuple in his first full season at Bayern, while he was also named CONCACAF Player of the Year for 2021.
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Among the current list of Bayern's World Cup winners, Lucas Hernandez is another of those players any top professional would love to play alongside. The 26-year-old defender, who just celebrated his third season at Bayern with his third Meisterschale, oozes self-belief and is determined to improve year on year.
"If you want to succeed in life, you have to fight, you have to give everything, you have to work in every training session," the France international - who counts fellow France World Cup winner Benjamin Pavard as his Bayern club mate - once said.
When it comes to attacking threat, the likes of Germany international teammates Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane consistently deliver the goods on the domestic and European scenes. En route to their tenth consecutive Bundesliga title, for example, Bayern saw Gnabry chip in with 14 goals while Sane added seven goals and as many assists to the cause.
That might still be a little way off the machine-like Müller's league-best 18 assists for 2021-22 but combine these forces and there is very little stopping this star-studded side. Throw African champion Mane into that mix, and watch the fireworks follow.
Along with the coaching staff overseeing an eye-catching style of play and a supremely talented playing roster, another huge aspect to Bayern's pulling power is the 75,000 capacity Allianz Arena where they play their home games. A magnificent venue that has seen far more home highs than lows over the years, it boasts that brilliant Bundesliga atmosphere where capacity crowds push their teams the extra mile.
Kitting out in those famous red colours and lining up alongside instantly recognisable faces behind which sit some of football's brightest brains is only the beginning. Doing so while being roared on by thousands of passionate Bavarians who have chosen Bayern as their club gets the heart beating even faster. All of that as a backdrop for chasing titles at home and abroad can only make for an unforgettable experience in the life of footballer, be he a knee-trembling novice or a newly arrived world beater.
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