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Mane inspired Francis' Bayern Munich dream as Nigerian makes historic transfer

1:00 AM IST 05/08/22
Mane, Francis
The 18-year-old becomes the first Nigerian to be signed by the Germany elite division outfit

FC Hearts Abuja owner Mouktar Mohammed has discussed the advice Sadio Mane gave Daniel Francis before the teenager was signed by Bayern Munich.

Having impressed during the 2022 FC Bayern World Squad project, the former Nigeria U17 midfielder was handed a three-year contract which will keep him at Allianz Arena until 2025.

Speaking about Francis’ history-making move to the Bavarians, his mentor – who is a seasoned Nigerian sports administrator revealed how the 18-year-old was inspired after talking to the reigning African Player of the Year.

“When Daniel went to Bayern Munich to train, Sadio Mane told him ‘My only advice for you is never stop dreaming’. He has never stopped and this is where he finds himself,” Mohammed, who was present with Mane and Francis, told GOAL.

“A lot more we hope can achieve such lofty heights.

“This move gives hope, this move gives a lot of encouragement for all those young talents who are working so hard and have that dream.”

Speaking during the player’s unveiling, the director of FC Bayern Campus Jochen Sauer explained how the club beat a host of other clubs to the signing of the teenage sensation.

Reacting to that, the FCT FA boss claims he did not have to think twice about the transfer.

“Bayern is a natural choice of course because you can rate it as the top club in the world, maybe the best run club in the world and as a brand, it’s as big as any, they have achieved everything in football,” he continued.

“They have a reputation of signing quality players, and their pattern of play is also very attractive.

“So, it is very hard to say no to such a club when the opportunity arises.  It’s a big moment for the player and it’s also a big moment for other players to keep dreaming.

“It’s a big day in Nigerian football as Francis becomes the first Nigerian footballer to ever sign for Bayern Munich, it’s a combination of hard work from 2019 when Bayern came to Nigeria and did the world youth cup programme.

“It’s a historic moment and I think for a player from an African academy to get signed directly by Bayern is unexplainable.”

Mohammed also went a step further explaining what Nigeria can do to discover more talents that could join big European clubs in future.

He added: “Undoubtedly, Nigeria is the biggest country in Africa and the most populated.

“And having produced some of the most talented players over the decade. This is proof that Nigeria is a talent hub.

“We need more football schools to harness those talents and with a lot more hard work and commitment, we can produce more world-class players.”