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09th Nov 2023

Roberto Firmino exposes frosty Mo Salah and Sadio Mane relationship

Callum Boyle

Firmino Salah Mane

‘The boss and some others were worried’

Roberto Firmino has detailed accounts of the frosty relationship between Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane that led to Jurgen Klopp having to intervene.

Firmino and Mane have both left Liverpool and are now plying their trade in the Saudi Pro League while Salah remained at Anfield.

During their time as a trio, the three of them were hailed as one of the best attacking frontlines in the world but all was not as well behind the scenes.

In his book Si Senor: My Liverpool Years, Firmino recalled an incident during their game against Burnley in which Mane was left fuming after Salah refused to pass to him when he had an open goal.

He wrote: “Tense moments usually passed quickly. In the next game, one would be passing the ball to the other – or passing it to me, who would then pass it to the other – and we’d be celebrating another goal for our team.

“Together. Salah and Mane had had their little problems before, but that time everything happened on the field, there for the world to see. That day, at Burnley, the lid came off.

“Their argument wasn’t funny. Potentially, it could have caused problems for us. Maybe the Boss [Jurgen Klopp] and some others were worried.”

Following the outburst, Klopp tried to diffuse the situation by giving a speech on selfishness – which appeared to be directed at Salah.

Firmino Salah Mane

“They were never best friends; each kept himself to himself. It was rare to see the two of them talking and I’m not sure if that had to do with the Egypt–Senegal rivalry in African competitions,” he added.

“I truly don’t know. But they also never stopped talking, never severed ties. They always acted with the utmost professionalism.

“I don’t know if he was aware of it or not, but Salah used to frustrate everyone when he didn’t pass the ball. I knew how to handle that situation better than most.

“Klopp addressed this issue in front of all of us: when a teammate was in a better position, the ball had to be passed. It was a clear hint aimed at Salah.

“Over the years, I must say, this aspect of his game improved significantly.

“He gradually learned to be less selfish and more cooperative – notwithstanding the fact that he is a striker, a goalscorer, and every goalscorer tends to be a bit ‘greedy’ in the pursuit of a goal. That’s normal.”

Between the three of them they scored 338 goals since becoming a trio during the 2017/18 season, winning the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup along the way.

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