Liverpool’s team spirit and unity has provided the foundation for their electrifying run to the Champions League final, Sadio Mane insists.
The Reds take on Real Madrid in Saturday’s showpiece in Kiev as they aim to clinch the European Cup for a sixth time against the side that has lifted it in three of the last four seasons.
If they’re to achieve their goal, many will point to the attacking triumvirate of Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino as being key – but the No.19 feels it is the harmony within the dressing room of Jürgen Klopp’s side that gives them their ‘power’.
“Like I have always said, I have always been enjoying playing alongside these great players,” Mane told a press conference at Anfield on Monday. “They make everything easier for me.
“I am a lucky boy and we always talk about the front three, but don't forget it starts from the back. It makes it easier - the power of Liverpool Football Club is the collective. We always do everything together, this is our power.
“It is a dream come true [to be in the final]. It was not easy, especially from having the play-off against Hoffenheim and the group stage, but now we are in the final. Maybe that is a surprise for some people, but for us it’s something we have always believed in.
“As a team, we are close together, we have suffered together, but now we are in the final.
"Now we go there, we will try to do our best like always and why not win the trophy?”
Read on for a summary of the rest of Mane’s press conference…
On Trent Alexander-Arnold’s inclusion in England’s World Cup finals squad…
“Everybody is happy for him. We’ve all congratulated him. He is young and he is working hard all the time in training and doing very well. He has had a great season and I honestly thinks he deserves to be in the World Cup squad.”
On his record of 19 goals so far this season…
“I think more goals are coming! Of course, I am happy. Especially as a striker, you’d love to score every single game to help your team. Now we have one more important game, so why not try to do our best, score for the team and win the trophy?”
On the importance of the final to Liverpool…
“I don’t know for them, but for us it’s one of the most important games in our careers. Of course, it won’t be easy because they have experience and also they have quality in the team. We respect them a lot, but we also have players to beat any team in the world. We are going to go there and try to do our best, cause them the most problems we can and try to win the game.”