The Argentina and PSG superstar was reportedly keen on playing with Sadio Mane but failed to convince him to make a switch to Camp Nou last summer
Lionel Messi is who is undoubtedly one of the best players [if not the best] to play the beautiful game has certainly encountered a few disappointments in his illustrious career.
But still, none of those setbacks have hindered him from growing to become a legendary all-time great.
Argentine great Leo Messi
One of those disappointments which the mercurial Argentine might still be feeling bad about, would be his failed attempt to persuade Sadio Mane to leave Liverpool last summer.
The Senegalese international joined Bayern Munich earlier this month after revealing that he wanted to leave the Reds. following his seven-year spell with the Merseyside outfit.
Mane’s contract expired in 2023 which meant that this summer was Liverpool’s last significant chance to cash in on the former Southampton and RB Salzburg star.
Liverpool would eventually sell their prolific attacker to Bayern Munich for a fee of around £35m.
Sadio Mané sealed a switch to Bayern Munich from Liverpool this summer
However, the 30-year-old winger could have even pushed for a move away from Anfield sooner, after he was urged to do so by none other than PSG star Lionel Messi.
The forward, who was in talks about extending his contract at Barcelona at the time, wanted to lead the line with Mane at the Camp Nou and made it known to the club who he thought was the best recruitment at the time.
Sadio Mane’s advisor Bacary Cisse has now spoken about how his client was also approached by Messi way before his PSG switch, revealing that PSG also held talks with the club ahead of the Bayern move: “Yes, PSG did indeed ‘attack’ Sadio. Leonardo had several contacts with the German agent
Sadio Mane ended up joining Bayern Munich from Liverpool
“They saw each other, they discussed the ins and outs of a possible transfer of Sadio at PSG, but it ended there. Everyone knows that Leonardo was on an ejection seat; we had to wait.
“Last year it could have also happened with FC Barcelona. It was Lionel Messi who imposed Sadio Mane in the deal when it was a question of him extending to Barca. He had given two names: Sadio Mane and an Argentinian central defender.” Cisse told RMC Sport
However, Mane decided to play for Liverpool for another season, scoring 16 goals in 32 Premier League appearances for the club, whilst also helping the Reds secure a second-place finish in a fiercely-contested title race.
He also helped them secure the FA Cup and Carabao Cup trophy as well playing ahuge role in helping Liverpool reach the final of the Champions League even though the Merseyside outfit lost the final 1-0 to Real Madrid.
Liverpool s Sadio Mane hugs Barcelona s Lionel Messi during the International Champions Cup match at Wembley Stadium in August 2016
Lionel Messi has never been secretive of how highly he rates the Senegalese star.
The former Barca star previously revealed in 2019 that he thought Mane deserved to finish higher than fourth in the 2019 Ballon d’Or placings.
“It’s a shame to see Mane finish in fourth place” Messi said.
“But I think there have been a lot of great players this year. That’s why it was difficult to choose a particular player. “
“But I chose Sadio Mane (for The Best award) because he’s a player that I like. Mane achieved a great year that was exceptional for the entire Liverpool team. That’s why I chose him.” the Argentine maestro added.
Lionel Messi revealed he chose Sadio Mane to win the Ballon d’Or award in 2019 despite the former winning the award that year
Mane has also been involved in the Ballon d’Or conversation this year, although it is likely that Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema will finally get his hands on the award after an exceptional campaign that saw him score 44 goals for Los Blancos in all competitions, helping them secure a record-breaking 35th La Liga title as well as a record – 14th Champions League title.