Most of you who read TLO have been Liverpool fans for a while. Some of you it’s been 3-5 years, while others remember Shankly. So you all know how trecherous the fixtures with United can be. They’re very much like the Derby, in that form doesn’t really matter. There’s just spite and history and generational grievance, and at some point someone counts up the number of goals and red cards. Liverpool fans always back their side to win, but we all know how easily things can go sideways.
But nobody’s told Sadio Mané that yet.
“We are going to beat Manchester United.”
The reporter didn’t even believe him and had to ask if he was sure about that.
“Of course. We all believe it. We are going to make it.”
Lest anyone accuse him of being glib or careless, Mané made it clear that he’s all too aware of the magnitude of this fixture.
“Maybe this will be the biggest game I have played in. My games for Senegal will have been the biggest so far. For my club, I think my biggest was my debut for Southampton against Arsenal. We won and I scored. I was under big pressure so for me that was amazing. Now this will be one of the most important. Everyone would like to score in a game like this. It’s normal the fans and people will think this is a particular type of game. We know it’s one of the big games of the season. It might be like El Clásico but, really, when the games starts and you get on to the pitch, then you do have to treat it more like a normal game.”
Mané also brought up his rumored transfer to United last year. The Mancs reportedly bid up to £25 million in the 2015 summer transfer window, and it was assumed that the deal never happened because Southampton didn’t want to deal. Mané says that was absolutely not the case, and that it was entirely his decision to stay and wait for a better offer.
The better offer came the next year. From us.
“It was only when Liverpool came in [last summer] that I never had a second thought and knew I wanted to join. It was different because then was the right moment for me. I finally came to Liverpool and I was happy with that, and now I’m happy I am playing against Manchester United.”
Shut up, you’re crying.