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Sadio Mané Looks to Brazilian Legend For Inspiration

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The in-form attacker said Ronaldinho helped shape his outlook on playing football.

Stu Forster/Getty Images

At just 24 years old, attacker Sadio Mané has taken major steps forward in his first season with Liverpool. He already has three Premier League goals to his name this year and has cemented himself as an explosive threat going forward.

Even so, the Senegalese winger faces high expectations to continue living up to the £30 million fee Liverpool paid to acquire him from Southampton over the summer. For some, that pressure would be a difficult burden to deal with.

But Mané has instead taken on a more lighthearted outlook on his play, which he attributed to the manner in which Ronaldinho enjoyed his football in his prime. He said he tries to smile a lot and remain grateful of his opportunity to compete at a high level.

"Some people say I don't smile enough," Mané said (via the Echo). "I think that's wrong. I'm usually smiling and having a laugh in training because I enjoy football."

"Ronaldinho always did that and I've always tried to copy him. I think footballers have plenty of reasons to smile. We have a great job that everybody would like to have," he added.

That enthusiasm has helped fuel his excellent form -- and rubbed off on the rest of Liverpool's attack, which is tied with Manchester City in goals scored in the Premier League this season. Keep smiling, Sadio.