Former Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery has hailed the signing of Sadio Mane, saying he expects the Senegal striker to be a roaring success in the Bundesliga.
Ribery spent 12 seasons at Bayern between 2007 and 2019, winning nine Bundesliga titles, six DFB Cups, the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Player of the Year award for his part in the record champions' 2012/13 continental treble success.
Mane has made the switch with a similarly impressive CV, including English Premier League, domestic cup and Champions League winner's medals, as well as some 120 goals and 48 assists in 269 competitive appearances for Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool.
Watch: Sadio Mane's official unveiling as a Bayern Munich player
According to Ribery, the arrival of Mane on a three-year contract through to summer 2025 is a real boon for defending champions Bayern and the Bundesliga.
"I can only congratulate Bayern on the transfer of Sadio Mane," the 39-year-old, who currently plys his trade in Italy with Salernitana, said via SportBild. "It's also a great transfer for the whole Bundesliga."
Given Mane's prolific and decorated track record, expectations are high, but Ribery has no doubt the 30-year-old - who will wear the No.17 shirt at Bayern - will rise to the challenge.
"Expectations are huge, but I think Sadio will succeed. A good start will be important, but I know from experience that Bayern fans make debuts easier because they welcome everyone with open arms."
Watch: Franck Ribery - 12 seasons at Bayern, 12 goals
Ribery made a scoring debut in the now defunct Liga Pokal, before netting his first Bundesliga goal on only his second top-flight appearance as a Bayern player.
All told, he registered 123 goals and 178 assists in 423 competitive appearances for the Bavarian giants, whilst forging a reputation as one of the finest right-footed left wingers in history.
Although Mane has also made a name for himself as an inverted left winger, Ribery was quick to point out that the 2021 AFCON Africa Cup of Nations winner can do the business on the opposite flank and down the middle as either a second striker, false nine or more traditional centre forward.
"The competition [for places] is huge now, but Sadio is versatile and can line up anywhere, not just on the left," he explained, echoing Mane's own view of himself as a player.
"As long as the coach doesn't put me in defence or as goalkeeper, I think I’ll be more than happy to play in any position for him and for the club as well," he quipped after signing for Bayern on 23 June 2022.
Mane - who recently linked up with his new club for pre-season training - could make his competitive Bayern debut against RB Leipzig in the 2022 Supercup on 30 August.
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