Liverpool star Sadio Mane revealed Ronaldinho to be his main inspiration on the pitch due to the Brazilian’s light-hearted and cheerful attitude.
The Senegal attacker joined Liverpool from Southampton for a reported figure of £34 million after two successful seasons at St. Mary’s and the transfer made him the most expensive African player in history.
Mane is not letting such a move go to his head, though, insisting he still looks to play with a smile on his face as he considers himself lucky to have a job “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.”
Mane has fitted in seamlessly at Liverpool so far and he was quick to credit Jurgen Klopp’s fluid team setup, which he believes the whole squad are enjoying.
“It’s a system where everybody knows their job,” he added. “Roberto Firmino, Coutinho, Studge [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.”
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