InterviewSadio Mane: We know what winning the FA Cup would mean
Sadio Mane has detailed the determination within Liverpool's dressing room to lift the Emirates FA Cup - one of the few trophies that has so far eluded Jürgen Klopp's squad.
The Reds face Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday and could win their second competition of the season and the sixth piece of silverware of Klopp's reign.
It has been 16 years since the club last claimed the FA Cup, and Mane has spoken of the huge motivation among his teammates to prevent that wait from going on any longer.
"We've been talking about it in the dressing room," the No.10, who scored twice in the 3-2 semi-final victory over Manchester City, told Liverpoolfc.com.
"I've been asking the boys, 'When was the last time Liverpool won it?' I think it was a long time ago. Not only the players, I think all the fans around the world are very excited to win it again.
"Years ago, we won the Premier League, Champions League, so winning the FA Cup will be massive for us, for everyone at the club as well and the fans."
We sat down with Mane at the AXA Training Centre to discuss the FA Cup final. Read on for the rest of our preview interview…
Sadio, it feels like there's a massive occasion every week but the FA Cup final is something special, so how much are you looking forward to it?
Like I always say, a final is always special, especially in this season. We know already our target from the beginning is to do everything possible to win all the trophies possible. So we have a chance to make another step, so let's see what's going to happen because we know we're going to face a very, very good side. Everything is possible, so we will see.
Do you remember hearing about the FA Cup growing up in Senegal?
The FA Cup, I think everybody knows it – myself for sure. It has been my dream, for sure, to win it one day. I used to watch it all the time and Liverpool have won [it]. I now have the chance to play. It's going to be a big competition between us and Chelsea because we played the Carabao Cup [final] and we won it, so it's kind of revenge for them. But it will stay as football for us and we know we have a good team and we are capable of beating any team. Let's use our strengths, like we did all the time, and try to win the game.
What does it feel like to play at Wembley?
I remember I played at Wembley the first time in 2012 [during] the Olympic Games – Senegal against Uruguay. That was my first time. Before, I remember our coach couldn't pronounce the name Wembley, he said, 'Vembley', so we were all laughing about it! I remember before the game, my teammates and I, that night was, 'Wow, what a dream for us to see ourselves in Wembley tomorrow.' Especially playing another final again, I think it's amazing. So let's go and enjoy the moment.
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You really must look forward to each of these occasions and it's a memory for you as well, not just the fans...
Sure. I think playing at Wembley is always a good memory. If you think back to your childhood and today you're playing there, I think it's a great moment, it's a great memory. Like I said, you have to go and just enjoy the moment.
Having won the Carabao Cup there in February, it must make you want to do it again...
If you win a trophy and think about it, it always gives you extra motivation. In our case, we are in a very, very good moment. A few months ago we won the Carabao Cup [against] the same team. Without making pressure for ourselves, it's just [more] incredible motivation for us to push ourselves and say, 'Let's go and make another story.'
Watch: The incredible story of the Carabao Cup final
It is against Chelsea again, so it's probably extra motivation for them...
In their case, maybe it would be kind of revenge because we beat them and it was very, very tight. If Chelsea would have won this, it would have been fair for them because they did well, they played well and we as well. All the time you need small [bits] of luck, which was on our side last time. So, that makes the game more exciting for sure. For us, it's not pressure but motivation.
What have you learnt from the previous meetings with Chelsea this season?
I won't say anything about it because it's kind of secretive! But what we learnt about them, we know it's one of the best teams not only in England but in the world. But I think no team is perfect, so we know that. We're going to try to use that and with our strengths try to hurt them.