Sadio Mane: Did star get friend Desire Segbe Azankpo a Bayern Munich contract? | OneFootball

Sadio Mane: Did star get friend Desire Segbe Azankpo a Bayern Munich contract?

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Did Sadio Mane help one of his closest childhood friends, Desire Segbe Azankpo, get a contract at Bayern Munich?

Azankpo, a 29-year-old forward from Benin, has had a pretty unremarkable career in professional football to date.

He briefly had a spell in England with Oldham Athletic, where he scored just four goals in 28 appearances during his one season at Boundary Park. The Daily Mail claim Azankpo is remembered as being ‘one of Oldham’s worst strikers in memory’.

He also played for the likes of Metz B, Le Puy, Senica and most recently turned out for Dunkerque, who compete in the third tier of French football.

So on how earth has he just been signed by Bayern Munich? Well, Bayern Munich’s reserve side, Bayern Munich II, anyway.

Sadio Mane and Desire Segbe Azankpo’s incredible friendship

A fascinating Twitter thread from Ghanian journalist Saddick Adams explains just how close Mane and Azankpo have been over the years.

It seems the trial at Bayern was facilitated by Mane and it’s expected that Azankpo’s arrival will help the world-class forward to adjust quicker to life at the Allianz Arena.

Their friendship began when they were aspiring young footballers in Senegal.

Azankpo then joined Mane at Metz before they went their own separate ways, staying in touch via FaceTime every day.

When Azankpo moved to Oldham in 2019, Mane (45 minutes away in Liverpool) asked him to stay with him at his house.

They found themselves going head-to-head during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals. Azankpo, whose Benin side lost 1-0, waited until the tournament was over before travelling back to England with Mane.

And when Mane left Liverpool for Bayern this summer, Azankpo was by his mate’s side for his medicals, signing and unveiling ceremony.

Goal.com claim Azankpo kept himself busy by driving his best friend to training sessions in Munich.

Mane won the African Footballer of the Year award last month and dedicated the prestigious individual accolade to Azankpo, who was described by the superstar footballer as a pillar in his life and someone who stood behind him when things were tough.

Azankpo’s friendship and loyalty to Mane saw him earn a trial with Bayern Munich II, who are coached by former Argentine defender Martín Demichelis.

And now he’s reportedly signed a two-year deal with the German giants.

What an incredible story.

What has Desire Segbe Azankpo said about Sadio Mane?

“He [Mane] always had big ambitions. He always wanted to go as high as possible. He comes from a poor background, like all of us,” Azankpo said, per Goal, earlier this year.

“And we said to ourselves that we have to succeed in order to help the family, to take over, because there are people behind who are hungry.

“Sadio has always dreamed very big. And I remember when he spoke to me about the Senegalese selection, he wanted it so much.”

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