Sadio Mane has rejected any notion of a rivalry with former Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah after the new Bayern Munich signing won his second African Player of the Year honour on Thursday.
Mane, 30, previously won the award in 2019, and earned it again after helping Senegal win their first African Cup of Nations crown, while being named Player of the Tournament.
In the process, he became Senegal’s all-time leading goalscorer, finding the net 33 times from 91 senior caps.
Mane and Salah have now split the past four African Player of the Year awards evenly, with Salah winning in 2017 and 2018, and Mane now the winner in 2019 and 2022. The award was not given out in both 2020 and 2021.
Speaking with Goal ahead of the ceremony, Mane insisted he has a great relationship with Egyptian icon Salah.
“People sometimes say there’s a rivalry between me and [Salah], but you know I don’t see myself having a rivalry with any player to be honest,” he said.
“We have good relations, we text each other. I think the media always try to [aggravate] things.
“You know I don’t just have [relationships] with one player, but with every player I’ve played with in the world.
“You can ask whoever you want in the club, or wherever I go. I have good relationships with all players.”
Mane’s time with Bayern has started well, scoring from the penalty spot just five minutes into his debut friendly against D.C. United this week in a 6-2 win.