Liverpool’s in-form striker Sadio Mane revealed that he models his game after Brazilian legend Ronaldinho.
The Senegalese forward joined Liverpool from Southampton in the offseason for a fee of around £30 million, after a successful two-season stint at St. Mary’s and has been a revelation under Jurgen Klopp’s regime.
Teaming up with Brazilian duo Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho, the trio have been the backbone of Liverpool’s great start to the season.
Despite becoming the most expensive African player in history, Mane is not letting those numbers get into his head and insists that he will always play with a smile on his face because he is lucky to be doing a job that “everybody” would want.
“Some people say I don’t smile enough,” he told Liverpool’s official website.
“I think that’s wrong. I’m usually smiling and having a laugh in training because I enjoy football.
“Ronaldinho always did that and I’ve always tried to copy him. I think footballers have plenty of reasons to smile. We have a great job that everybody would like to have.”
Following their 2-1 away win over Swansea before the international break, Liverpool are in fourth place, just two points behind league leaders Manchester City.
Mane, 24, reckons the team is enjoying their time on the pitch because of Klopp’s willingness to allow his attackers to express themselves.
“It’s a system where everybody knows their job,” he added. “Firmino, Coutinho, [Daniel] Sturridge, Adam Lallana — 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 opposition.”
The Reds will resume Premier League duty when they play hosts to Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side on Oct. 18 at Anfield.