Why Vinicius Jr. is better than Sadio Mane

Real Madrid, Vinicius Jr. (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Vinicius Jr. (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Steve McManaman listed Sadio Mane as his starting left winger in the Liverpool and Real Madrid combined XI. Goal listed Mane and Mohammed Salah as second and third, respectively, in the Ball d’Or power rankings behind Karim Benzema.

Though the Premier League fans and English pundits will argue on it until they are red in the face, Vinicius Jr. is far and away better than Liverpool’s left-winger, Mane.

Don’t believe me?

Let’s look at the two players’ statistics in both the league and Champions League:

Vinicius Jr.

Total appearances: 47 (42 as a starter)

Goals: 20

Assists: 16

Man of The Match awards: 10

Pass success percentage: 85

Key passes per game: 2.1

Successful dribbles per game: 2.65

Sadio Mane

Total appearances: 46 (42 as a starter)

Goals: 21

Assists: 4

Man of The Match awards: 4

Pass success percentage: 77.4

Key passes per game: 1.2

Successful dribbles per game: 1.25

There is no room for debate here. Vinicius Jr. is clear of Sadio Mane.

If the statistics are not enough to prove my point, let’s go deeper. While Mane has been a force for Senegal’s national team helping them to defeat Mo Salah and Egypt in the AFCON tournament and qualifying for the 2022 World Cup on penalties, Mane is slowly but surely drifting out of favor with manager Jurgen Klopp.

Since the January signing of Luis Diaz, Mane has – at times – not been the first choice left-winger for The Reds. In fact, Mane has been shifted to play as a number nine more often than not with him, Diogo Jota, Diaz, and Salah all rotating around the front three.

Meanwhile, Roberto Firmino has become nothing more than a backup with just two starts in the Champions League campaign.

So, comparing Vini Jr. to Mane as left-wingers or listing Mane as a left-winger in the combined XI is simply wrong here.

Look at how valuable Vinicius has been for Real Madrid while Mane has been a cog in the Jurgen Klopp machine.

Vinicius has been irreplaceable on the left side of Carlo Ancelotti’s formation, seeing Eden Hazard relegated to nothing more than a bench warmer. His connection with Benzema has grown exponentially in the last 12 months. Without Vini, Real Madrid would not be where they are right now.

Vini helped them to win the league and Supercopa titles. He also helped them to the Final in Paris.

As for Mane, Liverpool would probably be in this same position whether he was a regular in the squad or not. Both Jota and especially Luis Diaz as of late have been phenomenal on the left side and we all know what Mohammed Salah is capable of.

When it comes down to it, I would take the 21-year-old Vinicius Junior over the 30-year-old Sadio Mane every single time. The passion and drive Vini plays with motivates me as a fan to cheer on Real Madrid even harder!

Next. The best Real Madrid player to wear every kit number. dark

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That, in turn, rubs off on the players around him. Just look at how good Karim has been with this partnership clicking!

Stop the nonsense. End this debate. Vini Jr. >Sadio Mane.