Sakho Credits Liverpool Transfer for Return to National Team

Denis Doyle

This is an international break interview that doesn't involved mangled Luis Suarez quotes, hooray!

It's clear that Mamadou Sakho still has many deep lying feelings about his departure from French football. Like many of his teammates, the international break has afforded him the comfort and flexibility of giving interviews in his first language and the Frenchman paints a frequently emotional picture of his relationship with his former club Paris Saint-Germain.

Finding himself back in the national team side, having only played for his country three times this year, Sakho says his move to Liverpool has given him the chance to earn the call-ups that dried up as he fell out of favour at PSG last season.

"I had to quit Paris to get back in the France squad," Sakho told French newspaper Le Parisien. "Being picked again proves many things. That I still have that level. Most of all that I didn't leave to join a big club because of the competition (at PSG).

"At Liverpool there are also very good players in my position, but the competition is clean. At Paris it had become complicated. I've put that behind me and closed the door. The day I decided to leave PSG, I just got on with it."

Sakho confirmed last month that his relationship with PSG "isn't done yet", but had some delightfully sarcastic things to say to those who criticized him for having the nerve to cry when discussing his departure and what it meant for his future.

"Some people said I shouldn't have done that (cried) with respect to Liverpool," he said. "To them I apologise for having spent half my life in Paris, for having had teachers who helped me to grow up as a man. More seriously, though, it's obvious that I have a strong connection with PSG and that I didn't leave without emotion.

"The moment of the interview I was thinking about my father Souleymane who passed away when I was 13. My mother was in the stands and I told myself that I'd have also liked to see my father watching me in that moment. I know he would have been proud of his son, and that's when the tears flowed."

If you can read French and/or can deal with garbled translations, the whole interview is worth perusing as it contains lots of little insights into Sakho's character and his motivations that seem quite in line with Liverpool's own values. Many are excited about the possibility of Sakho being Liverpool's CB for the next ten years, but perhaps equally exciting — at least to me — is that the club seems to have brought in another player with the right attitude and right character to help build Liverpool's team of the future.

Lest we get too carried away with Sakho's future in red, we must always remember that his first love is PSG. And that's okay!

"I remain a Paris fan for life," Sakho confirmed. "I saw the match against Marseille (a 2-1 win with 10 men on Sunday) in a restaurant. With every goal I got up to sing: 'Here, it's Paris'."

Someone get this guy a puppy to cuddle.

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