Newly-crowned Champion of Europe, Sadio Mané, has given his thoughts on what he loves most about Jürgen Klopp in comments reported by The Mirror.
This is Mané best-ever season at Anfield, claiming the Champions League with his teammates under Klopp and scoring 26 goals in all competitions; his 22 in the Premier League saw him presented with the Golden Boot alongside Mo Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
His four goals in Europe, however, were crucial – including a brace against Bayern Munich that sealed a famous win at the Allianz Arena.
For all his own individual skill, and even the telepathic connections between he, Salah, and Roberto Firmino, none of this would have been possible without Klopp himself.
“He’s a very special manager. He has a lot of qualities and distinctive characteristics, but what really struck me is that he’s a really, really nice guy outside of football,” Mané revealed.
“His human side touched me, and that’s really rare to find someone like that, especially in football.
“He’s a coach who loves his players, he’s there for them. At the same time, he gives them responsibilities.
We, the players, are ready to do anything for him! We give everything on the pitch for him, whether it’s in training or in a game, we give our all. He’s a manager who makes you want to go to war.”
Our Senegalese star also admitted that Klopp initially showed an interest in signing him while Mané was at Red Bull Salzburg. In fact, the 27-year-old has boldly claimed:
“That transfer (from Salzburg to Southampton) was tough and complicated. I’ll tell you the truth. Southampton is a very good club, but I didn’t want to go there,” he said.
“My aim was to sign at Dortmund because Jürgen Klopp wanted me. Except Salzburg was already in agreement with Spartak Moscow.
They wanted to sell me in Russia to get the most money. Dortmund were ready to pay €12m. I said no to Russia. My dream was to play in the best leagues.”
Imagine if Klopp and Mané had linked up earlier? Mané’s comments here make it seem like he was somewhat crestfallen he never made it to Jürgen’s Dortmund.
In any case, they’re together now and have obviously just won the Champions League as their first piece of silverware at the Reds. Hopefully Mané can help us make it a quartet of trophies before the end of the year.