Mamadou Sakho doesn't like to talk about himself, but he's not short of words when it comes to describing his relationship with Liverpool fans.
The France international has built a strong rapport with the club’s followers in his two-and-a-half seasons at Anfield so far – earning appreciation from the stands for his committed attitude and reliable presence in defence.
Supporters were delighted to see the No.17 pen a new deal with the Reds back in September and follow up the landmark by firmly establishing himself in the starting XI as Jürgen Klopp took the reins.
Equally, the response to Sakho being ruled out after an awkward fall in the clash with Crystal Palace early last month summed up his stature and importance.
Modesty means the man himself prefers not to focus on his own contribution. However, there is one particular subject that brings a smile to his face and a response from his heart – the fans.
He told Liverpoolfc.com: “It makes me very proud. I feel happy.
“But the most important thing in my mind is that all the time I stay the same way – to give 100 per cent for the team and the club. If the fans see I give my best and shout my name, I’m really happy.
“For me, the team is very important, the fans too and the club. I say all the time that the Liverpool country – the Scouse country – is very important in my mind.
“Work pays in life and I try to stay the same every day. Mama is Mama! It’s true that when I play I try to give my best for the team.
“My thinking is that if everyone gives 100 per cent, we can help the team and the club together. It’s the best thinking we can have.”
Sakho speaks in the same manner that he plays, with an assured but forceful nature. He’s a self-confessed joker in the dressing room but a fighter out on the pitch.
He would much rather deflect the attention to his teammates, though.
“I don’t like to talk too much about myself,” the centre-back added. “I try to play how I can play and I try to give my best for the team.
“It’s my style of play. When I was in Paris it was the same, because it’s possible they liked my style of play. I stay the same and play how I can play. It’s difficult to speak about myself, I don’t like that!
“If you ask me what I think about [Philippe] Coutinho, I can say he’s a top player, technical, fast, scores goals for the team. But, for me, I can’t speak too much.”