Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp shuts down rumours of a rift between Mo Salah and Sadio Mane and insists the Reds stars are friends after Egypt’s World Cup heartbreak at the hands of Senegal
- Senegal booked their place at the World Cup in a playoff with Egypt on Tuesday
- Liverpool team-mates Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah faced each other again
- Mane’s Senegal also beat Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations final earlier this year
- But Jurgen Klopp insisted there is no hard feelings between the Reds forwards
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has shut down rumours of a rift between Reds duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
The Liverpool stars went head to head this week as Salah’s Egypt suffered World Cup heartbreak at the hands of Mane and Senegal.
The playoff defeat comes just months after the Pharaohs lost to Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations final.
Jurgen Klopp down rumours of a rift between Mohamed Salah (right) and Sadio Mane (left)
The Liverpool boss (pictured) insisted the duo are friends after Mane’s Senegal beat Salah’s Egypt in a World Cup playoff
Speculation has shrouded the forwards with claims their relationship has grown tense back at Anfield.
But Klopp refuted those rumours, revealing Mane refused to celebrate his nation’s victories out of respect for his Liverpool team-mate.
The Liverpool squad had reportedly planned a celebration for Mane on his return from his AFCON victory, but he asked for it to be cancelled to spare Salah’s feelings.
Mane refused to celebrate Senegal’s AFCON win out of respect for his Liverpool team-mate
The Reds boss claimed the gestured showed the close bond between the pair. He said: ‘No doubt about it they are not only close, they are well educated, they are good boys, they are good humans.
‘I really thought Sadio did particularly well with it to be honest and I am sure that Mo appreciates that as well.
‘Even if it is your brother, then imagine he is playing for the other team and you have to play a final and one wins and the other loses.
‘That is not a good situation for anyone. But for sure Sadio and Mo would consider themselves as friends, and they handled it well.’
The Liverpool forwards have faced each other on international duty twice this year
Salah was named in Liverpool’s starting XI to face Watford on Saturday, while Mane was on the bench on his return from international duty.
Cynics have claimed there is a rivalry between the two, with one trying to out do the other.
But ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League clash, Klopp dispelled those claims, insisting it is normal for Salah and Mane to be hungry to score goals.
‘No, they are not rivals,’ he said. ‘You play together in a team and both want to score goals. That is normal. We want them to score goals.
‘Yes, there are situations where one doesn’t see the other and doesn’t finish the situation off and then we immediately say, “what is the reason for that?”
Klopp insisted it is ‘normal’ for both Mane and Salah to be hungry to score goals
‘(But) there is nothing. That is how it is. We are human beings and from time to time we make wrong decisions, but it is nothing personal.
‘We just want to score a goal and realise a little bit later it was the wrong decision. It has nothing to do with any kind of rivalry with another player on your team, it is just the wrong decision.’
The German also insisted that Salah’s World Cup misery will not hold him back as Liverpool continue their historic quest for the quadruple this season.
‘Mindset-wise it is definitely a case of “strike back now, more than ever”,’ he said.
‘This is his kind of mind-set for sure. That is the reaction that is in Mo. He has no real skills for staying down. We are all down from time to time but has no real skills for that.’