The international break is finally over, Reds! Now there’s the small matter of welcoming Tottenham Hotspur to Anfield and sending them back down to London empty handed.
It’s obviously a huge game and a pivotal one for title race, but fresh from bossing it for Senegal this week, Sadio Mané is of the mind that our 3-1 win over Bayern Munich proves we’ve got the mettle for it.
“Of course, this is a big game,” the Allianz brace scorer told The Mirror. “It’s the first ‘final’ of seven in a row for us in the Premier League. But this team is prepared to withstand the pressure, I’m sure of that.
“If you look at the history of this club, it has always fought in the most difficult moments and has achieved special things when it seemed impossible. Liverpool is a champion team and we’ve shown that this season, even in matches as demanding as Munich. That result proved to us what we can achieve,” the Senegalese star added.
Growing up in Sedhiou, Mané was just a boy playing football on the streets who dreamt of playing”for one of the big teams in my country, I wouldn’t have believed I could be in a big league with a club like Liverpool fighting for the title. But here I am!
“It would mean so much to me and to people in Senegal to lift the trophy.
“Now, so many people in Senegal follow Liverpool and, if I can win the Premier League here, I promise you there will be a lot of joy in Senegal too!”
It seems like a bad memory now, but one of the reasons Liverpool have become so well-supported in Senegal is due to El Hadji Diouf’s controversial time at Anfield between 2002 and 2005.
Steven Gerrard has no respect for Diouf, while Jamie Carragher claimed he has one of the worst strike rates ever, but for Mané, “Diouf was a much-loved player in my country. But he could not win the league here – and it would make me so happy to do it for him.”
Thankfully it’s not just Diouf that Mané wants to win the league for. Ever the humble professional, the 26-year-old claimed: “If I win the title, I would dedicate it to all those who trusted me from Dakar. That’s where my life as a footballer was made. They gave me a chance, I gave my best and now it’s time collect the trophies.”
Our No. 10 has come from playing in the streets in Sedhiou and Dakar – where his parents sold their entire field harvest for a year to get him to the Senegalese capital – all the way to the very highest level at Liverpool.
He’s escaped poverty and hunger sacrificing a lot on the way to get to Anfield. “You work miracles to survive – and when you see an opportunity you take it,” Mané poignantly revealed.
The in-form winger and the rest of the Reds will need to harness all of their inner resolve and steely nerves to come through on top against Tottenham this afternoon. Nothing less than three points will do, but we know Mané will leave nothing out on the pitch.