Thursday, April 11

Mane makes gesture to Salah at first home game since AFCON win


Liverpool forward Sadio Mane reportedly made a special request to the club ahead of their Premier League match against Norwich on Saturday with respect to Mohamed Salah

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Sadio Mane made a special request to Liverpool after he and strike partner Mohamed Salah returned from Africa Cup of Nations duty.

The two Reds superstars went head-to-head in the final of the competition earlier this month, as Mane’s Senegal edged out Salah’s Egypt in the showpiece match in Cameroon.

Indeed, it was Mane who dramatically struck the winning penalty – having spurned a spot-kick opportunity in normal time – to seal victory for the Senegalese team, his nation’s first-ever title.

That goal from the former Southampton ace robbed Salah of the opportunity of taking Egypt’s fifth penalty in the shootout.

It meant heartbreak for record competition winners and Salah, who has yet to taste glory in the competition during his international career.

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Liverpool teammates Mane and Salah have become rivals at international level
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Furthermore, the two stars will go head-to-head once again as they contest a World Cup playoff qualification spot.

Senegal will take on Egypt for a place in this year’s finals in Qatar as they travel to the North African nation on 22 March before hosting the return leg in Dakar six days later.

However, according to Canal Football Club, Mane made a special request to Liverpool not to make any reference of him and Senegal lifting Africa’s most prestigious tournament.

Mane is said to have made this request out of respect to Salah, who would have been hurting from his nation’s near failure in the tournament.

One of the lasting images of the final in Yaounde was Mane comforting Salah moments after his decisive spot-kick, with the Egyptian talisman unable to fight back tears.

Earlier this week, Mane outlined that he and Salah did not talk about the ongoing rivalry between their two international sides ahead of next month’s crucial World Cup qualification double header.

“Me and Mo Salah don’t even talk about it,” he told the Que Golazo Youtube Channel. “I think that I’m still thinking about my African Cup, but it’s also an important game that means a lot to me and my people.

Mane made the request to Liverpool ahead of the club’s first home game since the AFCON concluded
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“If we can qualify – and we will do everything to do it – it’s very important for me, my teammates and my country because it’s a really, really massive competition, which is a dream for any football player.

“We will be well prepared for it and do everything possible to win because it’s really important.”

While they haven’t discussed the match itself, Mane revealed the two have found the time to laugh over an incident surrounding his unsuccessful penalty.

Salah could be seen speaking to ‘keeper Gabaski, before Mane joined the conversation, attempting to swing the perceived mind-games in his direction.

He continued: “Until now – you won’t believe me – but we haven’t talked about it, because I know he’s still disappointed for sure.

“We have mentioned when I missed the penalty, he said: ‘why did you come to see the goalkeeper?’ and I said ‘no because you’ve been talking to him and I’m sure you will play mind-games, so I will play mind-games as well.

“I saw him talking and I’m sure he was not saying anything much so it was fine to just say it was mind-games and I want to be more fun than them, so I go ‘Mo, I will put it in the right side, tell him I will put it in the right side.

“We were talking about this yesterday and laughing about it, it was quite funny.”

Mane took the first round between the pair, but Salah and Egypt will have their opportunity for revenge in March.

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