Sadio Mane has this afternoon briefly opened up on Liverpool’s momentous Champions League turnaround victory over Barcelona earlier this month, admitting that not even Reds’ boss Jurgen Klopp really believed that such a feat was possible.
Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona
The Merseysiders welcomed La Liga champions Barca to Anfield two-and-a-half weeks ago, for the second-leg of their Champions League semi-final showdown with the Blaugrana.
The visitors were viewed as overwhelming favourites to advance ahead of kick-off, having put Liverpool to the sword by 3 goals to nil at the Camp Nou a week prior.
In addition, adding to the uphill task facing Jurgen Klopp’s men was the fact that both Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino missed out with respective injury problems.
When all was said and done at Anfield, however, a historic evening eventually saw the hosts turn things around to emerge with a 4-0 win.
Divock Origi and Gini Wijnaldum bagged a brace apiece for Liverpool, to secure the Reds’ passage to European football’s grandest stage for the 2nd year running.
Mane on Klopp
One individual who was far from confident in Liverpool’s chances of turning things around in the buildup to the clash, however, was manager Jurgen Klopp.
Speaking in an interview with Telefoot this afternoon, Sadio Mane opened up on the German tactician’s mindset ahead of his side’s miraculous comeback, admitting that ‘not even he believed it’ was possible:
‘Before the game [against Barca], I had never seen the boss like that.’
‘Klopp encouraged us. But honestly, not even he believed it.’
‘He is exceptional. He makes you want to fight for him and give everything for him.’
Finally, on Liverpool’s fast-approaching Champions League final showdown with Tottenham, the Senegalese attacker concluded:
‘The final is a one-off game. It will be different from the league. You cannot hide. I think we are favourites.’