Liverpool are off to a stellar start in the Premier League, a perfect seven wins to open the 2019-20 season as they look to keep ahead of big-spending Manchester City and win their first league title in three decades.
Their opening Champions League group stage game, though, ended in defeat to Napoli. That just means they need to win the second game—and every other that they play, in the league and Europe both, if they can manage it.
“I say both,” was Sadio Mané’s response when asked whether the league or Europe was the priority, particularly in light of how the season has started for the Reds. “We are Liverpool and we will fight for both.
“I don’t think we will have a problem [competing for both]. I will say that we are better this season, for sure. It is why we are working every single day to get better. We are more mature than last season. I would say we are better.”
Better, though, doesn’t guarantee anything, especially not in the Champions League. And when it comes to their next opponents, Mané has some extra motivation going into the game given he used to play for Salzburg.
Salzburg were his big break in football, signing Mané from French lower-league side Metz in 2012 when he was 20 years old and helping to develop him into the player who eventually ended up at Southampton—and then Liverpool.
“It’s a special game for me,” Mané said of his time in Austria. “I started with that team and I learned a lot. I’ll be really happy to see my old team-mates. I’m sure they will be ready for me and I will be ready for them.
“They are a really good team and are doing well. I can say they are top of the group and we respect them a lot before the game tomorrow.”