Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has said that he is pleased to receive praise for his form – but he wants Roberto Firmino’s influence to be recognised.
The Brazil international has come under the spotlight for a relatively quiet start to the season, despite opening his account with a goal against Leicester City, but his team-mate is not underestimating his importance to the side.
“Lots of people like to talk about me and Salah,” he told Bleacher Report.
“It’s nice to hear those things, but the strength of this Liverpool team is the collective.
“You also can’t forget that there’s a guy up front called Firmino who works like an animal for us and makes things easier.
“And the guys behind us do some extraordinary work. We try to benefit from that and help the team go forward.” he added.
Mane went on to reveal the influence of former Liverpool forward El-Hadji Diouf on his determination to become a professional player at a young age back home in Senegal.
“When I was young, I had lots of favourite footballers, but Ronaldinho was my real favourite, along with El-Hadji Diouf from Senegal.” he continued.
“They really inspired me. Those two players were examples for me as a footballer. They were skilful players and good dribblers who beat their opponents easily.
“I was a very good dribbler as a young player, but now that I’ve got more experience, there are some useless things that I don’t do anymore.
“It’s all about making and scoring goals for the team, like my idols did when they were at the peak of their powers.
“I’ve improved in lots of ways, and I’m really happy. That was what I was hoping would happen. I think there are still lots of things that I can improve.
“I’m not a party animal or someone who travels a lot. When I’m not playing football, I prefer to recover and spend time with my friends and my family.
“During the holidays, I always go back to my village to spend time with my family and my childhood friends.” he finished.
Liverpool supporters are likely to agree that Mane has been a much bigger success and positive character to have at the club than his compatriot.