Sadio Mane and Alphonso Davies (l-r.) are all set to cause chaos down the left for Bayern Munich. - © Imago
Sadio Mane and Alphonso Davies (l-r.) are all set to cause chaos down the left for Bayern Munich. - © Imago

Sadio Mane and Alphonso Davies' double act set to rival Bayern Munich legends


The world has seen some iconic duos down through the years but could the Bundesliga be set to match one of its all-time great double acts when Sadio Mane and Alphonso Davies team up down the left for Bayern Munich this season?

It's certainly a thought that will give even the division's meanest right-sided defenders reason to lose sleep over the coming weeks as the fastest man in the Bundesliga joins forces with one of the world game's most impressive twinkle-toed forwards. Eager to test the terrain in the German to flight for the first time, Mane - who recently made the move to Bayern from Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool - is likely to line up ahead of Canadian sensation Davies who, incredibly, is heading into a fifth Bundesliga season at just 21 years old.

The excitement in Bavaria is palpable as Bayern's first competitive game of the new campaign - July's Supercup date with Leipzig - comes into focus. The record champions then kick off the defence of their Bundesliga title against Eintracht Frankfurt in the top-flight curtain raiser in 5 August and by then the Mane/Davies afterburners should be heating up. Before that, however, some supporters of Julian Nagelsmann's side are taking a trip down memory lane as they recall another left-sided partnership that produced a level of danger that the Mane/Davies duo will look to repeat.

David Alaba and Franck Ribery played in more than 100 Bundesliga matches together and formed such a fantastic on-field understanding that they became excellent friends off the pitch too. "We played together for 10 years; I owe him a lot," current Real Madrid defender Alaba said of his time together with former France international Ribery. "We've got a close relationship and we're still in contact. [He's] one of the most important people in my career. He tried to help me progress from day one," the 30-year-old Austrian continued.

Both players won it all at Bayern, their success down the left helping the club to numerous Bundesliga titles, the Champions League, DFB Cup trophies and FIFA World Club Cup honours. "I prefer playing with him, and he is glad when I am on the pitch as well; there is an understanding between us" Bayern legend Ribery once said of his ex-teammate." With Alaba adding that, "Franck's not just a role model; we're also very close friends now," the prospect of Mane and Davies building a similar level of closeness both on and off the pitch is one that excites.

Franck Ribery (l.) and David Alaba (r.) won it all together at Bayern Munich. - FrankHoermann/SVEN SIMON via images/Sven Simon

An interesting similarity between Bayern's latest left-sided attacking unit compared to that which came a short time before is - like Ribery and Alaba - there are also nine years age difference between full-back Davies and Mane. In terms of the players themselves, both have enjoyed domestic title success and have also lifted the Champions League. Plus, there is one more addition to the Mane/Davies tandem that adds some added excitement: both players are on-field speed demons.

Canada international Davies is the quickest player in the Bundesliga, the former Vancouver Whitecaps man having been clocked at a top speed of 22.69 mp/h. African Cup of Nations winner, Mane, meanwhile, has been registered at a similar speed, the Senegalese superstar timed at 22.06 mp/h. All told, both look set to tear it up down the left as they take overlapping to explosive new heights.

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Despite spending time on the sidelines recovering from myocarditis last season, Davies still managed 31 appearances at left full-back in all competitions for a Bayern side that went on to win a tenth successive Bundesliga crown. The Ghana-born speedster managed to provide five assists during that time. Of Mane's 51 games for Liverpool in 2021/22, the ex Metz, Salzburg and Southampton player made 30 appearances on the left side of attack, scoring 11 times and laying on three goals from that position.

It's no wonder, then, that the footballing world will be watching in eager anticipation when the Canadian Roadrunner and the Senegalese Express put bewildered defenders to the test as they look to form a fearsome new duo that can match the Bayern legends that came before them.