Bayern Munich’s head coach, Thomas Tuchel, has voiced his unwavering support for Sadio Mane after an altercation with a fellow teammate led to the Senegal international’s suspension.
Mane, 31, was omitted from the squad for the match against Hoffenheim due to “misconduct” following a disagreement with Leroy Sane, which resulted in the latter suffering a bloodied lip.
The incident occurred after the 3-0 Champions League defeat to Manchester City in midweek, but Tuchel admitted that he had not witnessed the altercation himself.
During a press conference, Tuchel spoke in defense of Mane, stating that he was the player’s “first lawyer and first defender.” He added that he had known Mane for a long time and was familiar with his circle. Tuchel revealed that Mane had apologized to all parties involved and that he had his “full support” before and after the incident.
Tuchel also acknowledged that everyone is entitled to make mistakes and that the team atmosphere remained “calm” despite the incident.
“I am his first lawyer and his first defender. I’ve known him for so long and I know his entourage. He has my full support. He had that before and he still has it after this mistake that he has made. Everyone has the right to make a mistake.” Tuchel said.
According to The Athletic, tensions had already been building up before the altercation occurred. The report indicated that a heated on-field discussion broke out after an attacking move failed to materialize during the game against Manchester City.
Mane has been under scrutiny since his return from injury, and Bayern’s form has been inconsistent at times.
The striker has scored 11 goals in 32 appearances during his first season at Bayern. Despite the incident, Tuchel remains positive, suggesting that the altercation may even have a “cleansing” effect within the squad.