Sadio Mane is currently in the middle of preparing for Senegal’s Africa Cup of Nations final which takes place tonight against Algeria, but he has compared the importance of the game to winning the Champions League with Liverpool – making a surprising comment.
Playing for his national side is clearly a big thing for Mane and he says he would be ready to trade Liverpool’s Champions League victory against Tottenham for winning the AFCON with Senegal.
Speaking to the BBC, via the Evening Express, Mane said: “For sure, I would be ready (to swap), even today.
“We know it won’t be easy but it’s normal, it’s part of football. Algeria is a great team and now I’m just looking forward to playing in the final and to win it.”
There’s no point reading too much into the comment – he was probably asked the question and felt he couldn’t answer any other way.
We’ll be backing Senegal tonight, of course, but the main thing is that Mane can get through the game without injury and can then have a break for a couple of weeks before he comes back for pre-season.
Given he’s still at the tournament when most of the other Reds players are back and the new season is just a a few weeks away, it’s highly unlikely Mane will be back to face Norwich City, but hopefully he won’t miss too much of the early stages of the campaign.