Salah and Mané’s strife at Liverpool unveiled by Firmino

Photo of Salah and Mane in their tension matter at Liverpool

Liverpool thrived for five years with the dynamic trio of Mané, Firmino, and Salah. However, beneath the surface, tension brewed between the two wingers, necessitating Roberto Firmino’s finesse to prevent issues from escalating. This period encompassed significant victories in the Champions League and Premier League, characterized by seasons brimming with unpredictability.

The Mané-Firmino-Salah era provided thrilling football for Liverpool and their supporters, offering a captivating five-year journey. Since Firmino’s arrival in 2015, followed by Mané in 2016 and Salah in 2017, they constituted one of Europe’s premier trios, albeit encountering occasional challenges.

Recall those televised instances of emotional fluctuations during matches? The English media delighted in highlighting apparent tension between Sadio Mané, the Senegalese left-winger, and Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian right-winger.

Amid this, Roberto Firmino, a selfless figure, closely observed the dynamics between his two teammates. In his book “Si Senor, my years at Liverpool,” Firmino humorously and candidly reveals the intricacies of their relationship, shared in excerpts by The Guardian.

His intimate perspective captures, “I was right in the midst of it all, witnessing the looks, expressions, body language, and the discontent when one was upset with the other. I felt it. They were never the closest of friends.”

“I can’t confirm if Salah was aware of it, but his hesitance to pass the ball was a source of frustration for everyone. I felt I could navigate that situation better than anyone. Klopp directly confronted this issue within the team, emphasizing the need to pass to a teammate in a better position. This was aimed at Salah.

I’ve witnessed substantial progress in this aspect of his game over time. He’s slowly become less self-focused and more team-oriented, although as a striker, the pursuit of goals naturally brings some self-interest.”

“Mané consistently carried intense energy, regardless of the circumstances. Among the three of us, he was the most dynamic, and I often had open discussions with him. I provided continuous advice, attempting to keep him calm. I often encouraged him to prioritize team play, seek tranquility, and remain composed.

They weren’t particularly close friends; both maintained their own space. It was rare to see them conversing. I can’t confirm if it was linked to the Egyptian-Senegalese rivalry in African competitions. However, they maintained professional communication.”

“I remained impartial. That’s why they valued me: I always distributed the ball to both, prioritizing the team’s success. Many highlight the tactical contributions I made to the attacking trio, but the human element was just as essential: my role as a mediator and unifier. Without that, there would have been storms between the two on the field,” he describes.

He also shares his understanding of why his coach, Jürgen Klopp, was more willing to substitute him compared to his two teammates to avoid potential ego conflicts. Amid the evident tensions between Mané and Salah, Firmino’s collective intelligence substantially contributed to Liverpool’s successes, potentially more than his many goals for the Reds.


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