Sadio Mane vs Vinicius Junior: Who's better?

Jack Gallagher
Image by Matthew Burt
Image by Matthew Burt / James Gill - Danehouse / Contributor

Sadio Mane is a Liverpool legend.

Vinicius Junior looks like he has all the makings of a Real Madrid legend.

But, right now, who is the better footballer?

Well, that's the question that we at 90min are here to answer as part of our Rivals series.


1. Peak potential

Image by Matthew Burt
Image by Matthew Burt / Sebastian Frej/MB Media / Contributor

During the 2018/19 season we saw the very, very best of Sadio Mane.

The forward one the Premier League Golden Boot, the UEFA Champions League and was widely regarded as one of the top 5-10 footballers in the world.

Since then there has been a slight dip in performance (only slight, don't shout at me Liverpool fans you know it's true), and at 30 years old that waning of powers is likely going to continue over time.

While at his best Mane was a top 5-10 footballer in the world, Vinicius has proven this season that he has the potential to be at least top three.

After a slow start to his Real Madrid career, the Brazilian has really exploded onto the scene this season and showed why Los Blancos spent €46m on him when he was (roughly) six months old.

Vinicius has what it takes to go right to the very top.

Winner: Vinicius Junior

2. Goalscoring

Laugh Smile GIF by Liverpool FC - Find & Share on GIPHY

Up until the 2021/22 season this category wasn't even a debate. Sadio Mane was clearly the better goalscorer - his league high at Liverpool was 22 while Vinicius Jr's was three (yes, three).

This season however, rather incredibly, Vinicius has managed to score 17 league goals - one more than Mane.

It is this remarkable surge from Vinicius that has made this category slightly more complicated, but we have to give it to Mane.

He's scored more than 15 goals in all competitions for five consecutive seasons. That's some serious consistency.

Winner: Mane

3. Impact at club

Sadio Mane
Mane is a winner / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Ok the last two were closely fought but this one is clearly Sadio Mane's.

Since joining Liverpool, Mane has won:

- Liverpool's first ever Premier League title.
- The UEFA Champions League.
- The EFL Cup.
- The FA Cup.

And he hasn't just been a squad player in the team that's won all of this silverware, he's been a key contributor to every single success.

Winner: Mane

4. Skills and dribbling

Yeah, Mane is a skilful football, but watch the above video and agree that Vinicius Jr is deserving winner of this category.

Winner: Vinicius Junior

5. Poll results

In a poll run across our English, Italian, German, Spanish and French websites, 90min readers selected Mane as the winner - collecting 52% of your votes.

Winner: Mane