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Sadio Mané on Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool’s “Team Dad”

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Anyone inclined to think of Klopp as something of a father figure now has an added reason to do so.

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-TOTTENHAM Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool Football Club’s father figure. It’s not exactly unheard of for the manager to be thought of or described in those terms, but if there was any doubt about the role Klopp fills at the club, Sadio Mané is here to set you straight.

“His secret, I think, is to be the team’s dad,” the Senegal forward told France Football when asked about Klopp’s relationship with the players, with Mané explaining that he sees it as the reason why Klopp has gotten so much out of his players.

“Between us, everything clicked straight away. We all love him like a father, and we fear him like one too. He takes up a lot of space in my life, and not just in football. He’s great as a person. I trust him blindly, like most of the dressing room, I think.”

It’s not that Klopp is the only manager on the planet who fills the role of paternal motivator, of course, but there has likely been no one as successful at it since he took over at Mainz, then Dortmund, and now Liverpool. And it helps he can back it up tactically.

Mané also discussed his relationship with Liverpool’s other players—notably Mohamed Salah, with France Football wanting to know about their relationship given the apparent tension early in the season and Mané, expectedly, shrugging it off.

“He’s a crazy goalscorer and an exceptional player who can do everything,” Mané said. ”We have sometimes had our disagreements, but it remains a great pleasure to play besides him because I have the feeling we speak the same type of football.”