There’s something about the city of Liverpool that makes footballers quickly want to adopt it as a second home. Didi Hamann and Jan Molby got Scouse accents, Dijbril Cisse became Lord of Frodsham, and Rafa Benitez’s wife refuses to leave.
The latest player to join the list is centre-back Mamadou Sakho, who told the Echo that he’s a fully paid-up Scouser.
“Now I’m a Scouser and I give everything for the Scouse nation!” he said while spending time with children who are part of the Liverpool FC Foundation program.
“I always promised myself that if I did make it I would try to help children”, he said. “That’s why I am involved with the Foundation and what they do. Going to the school is very important to me”.
Sakho actually volunteered for the program almost immediately after his arrival at the club, and says he thinks it’s a vital part of being a professional footballer.
“When I moved here I wanted to make a real effort to be involved in the community. Doing so helps you to understand the history of the city and the club”.
“As a footballer you are an example to youngsters because so many of them watch the game, support their team and idolise players. So you have to try to do the right thing for them. We have a role to play in setting an example and we always need to be aware of that. Being involved has been a great way for me to get to know the city and the people”.
In an age when modern footballers are generically labelled as prima donnas, it’s refreshing to hear Sakho speak out on the subject. He was a hugely underprivileged child growing up in a poor area of Paris, but rather than letting his fame and fortune go to his head, it’s in his instincts to try and help those who are in a similar boat to that which he was.
Of course, the notion that Sakho is the only footballer in this mould is false, but there’s no denying that a few Premier League and international players would do well to take a leaf out of the 25-year-old’s book.