Desire Azankpo: Sadio Mane's Best Friend Frustrated By Continuous Association With Al Nassr Star

Desire Azankpo: Sadio Mane's Best Friend Frustrated By Continuous Association With Al Nassr Star

Lukman Mumuni
updated at May 14, 2024 at 1:22 PM
In this article:
Sadio Mané logo
S. Mané
Al Nassr FC logoFSenegal logo
Al Nassr FC logo
Al Nassr
Saudi Arabia
Desire azankpo segbe logo
d.azankpo segbe
Senegal logo
Benin logo
Saudi Arabia logo
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
Bayern Munich logo
Bayern Munich
  • Desire Azankpo has disclosed his frustrations over being Sadio Mane's best friend
  • The Beninese grew up and played together with Mane during their time in Senegal
  • Mane currently plays in Saudi Arabia for Al-Nassr while Azankpo plays in Belgium

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Desire Segbe Azankpo has opened up on his relationship with best friend, Sadio Mane.

The Beninese footballer started his career alongside Mane at the famous Senegalese academy, Generation Foot.

However, the Senegalese forward enjoyed a better career than his friend, going on to win several trophies including the UEFA Champions League and the Africa Cup of Nations.

Sadio Mane, Desire Azankpo, Senegal, Benin, Al Nassr, FC Seraing
Sadio Mane and his best friend, Desire Azankpo, after an AFCON game between Senegal and Benin in 2019. Photo: Omar Zoheiry/Picture Alliance.
Source: Getty Images

While Azankpo tried his luck in Europe, playing for several clubs including FC Metz and Bayern Munich II, the Benin striker has not enjoyed as much success as his friend.

The 31-year-old admitted he was frustrated by the consistent comparison with Mane and believes his friendship with the former African Footballer of the Year shrouded his career.

"He's my best friend, and since we're together all the time, I think that's where the idea came from! If it was not known, the problem would not have arisen," he told Afrik Foot, as quoted by Wiw Sport.
"I believe you have a best friend too, but I don't believe we associate your name with your best friend all the time. It’s like that - I can’t do anything about it !" he added.

Mane convinced Bayern Munich to sign his friend when he joined the Bavarians, but Azankpo was handed a deal to join their B team instead.

"Having said that, when it's recurring, it's annoying! I let people talk, I don't listen, I don't read all the noise that people put out on social media and in the newspapers," continued the FC Seraing forward.
"These people who associate us are people who have just known us. People who have known us for a long time will not always associate us. Désiré, it’s Désiré, Sadio, it’s Sadio. Everyone has their own life. Our careers are different," he concluded.

Mane moved to Saudi Arabia last summer to sign for Al-Nassr and has become a pivotal player for the club, scoring 13 goals and providing eight assists in the league, per Transfermarkt.

Bayern Munich sign Mane's best friend

Sports Brief also reported that Mane helped his friend Azankpo get a contract with Bayern Munich's B team after moving to Germany last season.

During his short time with the Bundesliga giants, the Senegalese star and his friend lived together and he was said to have often encouraged his friend.

Lukman Mumuni photo
Lukman Mumuni
Lukman Abdul Mumin is a Sports Journalist based in Accra, Ghana. He has been writing for the past five years. Lukman joined Sports Brief as an Editor for the Local Desk in 2022.