LIVERPOOL — Attacker Sadio Mane says he always try to play with a smile on his face to emulate his hero, Brazilian legend Ronaldinho.
Mane, 24, has been one of Liverpool’s stand-out performers at the start of the season, picking up a Goal of the Month along the way for his stunning individual effort against Arsenal on opening day.
“Some people say I don’t smile enough. I think they are wrong. I am usually smiling and having a laugh in training because I enjoy football,” the Senegal international told the club’s magazine.
“Ronaldinho always smiled and I’ve always tried to copy him. Footballers have plenty of reasons to smile. We have a great job.”
An attacking four of Mane, Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana has attracted plenty of attention.
Mane believes manager Jurgen Klopp has given them the licence to play with freedom.
“It’s a system where everybody knows their job. Roberto, Coutinho, (Daniel) Sturidge, Adam … we know each other’s game.
“It’s become easier for us thanks to working on it and we are enjoying playing this way. Whether I’m starting up front or out wide isn’t really the most important thing.
“The manager says be free and then get into dangerous areas where you can hurt the opponents.”
Mane and Co are looking forward to the big Premier League match against bitter rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Tuesday (3am).
With the form Mane is in don’t be surprised if he is thorn to Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils. — Agencies