In Mohamed Salah, Joël Matip, Sadio Mané and Naby Keïta, the 2019 edition of Liverpool has a remarkably strong African contingent. Two of the four are perennial player of the year contenders on the continent, and between them, the quartet have combined for nearly 200 international appearances for the respective countries.
While Mané and Salah’s developing — and hugely successful, to the tune of a 103 goals — partnership on the pitch has been on display for all to see over the past season and a half, it is the £52m man Keïta who enjoys the strongest bond with the Senegalese attacker. The two spent time together at RB Salzburg back in 2014, with the more experienced Mané briefly taking the younger man under his wing during his early spell in Austria.
The two have enjoyed rather different fortunes this season — Mané should rightly be in contention for the club’s player of the year, while Keïta has struggled to make as big of an impact as his ability suggests he should — but the friendship forged in Salzburg half a decade ago remains intact.
Now spend six and a half minutes grinning your face off as the two alternate between banter, African mum stories and genuine, sincere affection in Liverpool’s Bezzies series. It may be fluff, but good lord if it isn’t the most satisfying fluff imaginable.