While Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk steal most of the headlines, there is an argument to be made that Sadio Mane is Liverpool's most important player. Jurgen Klopp's side look like a completely different outfit when the Senegalese international isn't on the pitch, and he proved his value once again last night.
The introduction of Roberto Firmino at half time was also a huge moment, but it was Mane who would score both of Liverpool's goals, the second of which was an absolute worldie.
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) August 14, 2019
His £34million move from Southampton was largely mocked at the time, but those same people who criticised it probably feel a bit foolish at the moment. Mane has gone on to establish himself as one of the top wingers in world football, culminating with a Premier League golden boot and Champions League winners medal last season.
What's more, he seems like an absolutely standup guy. He speaks with humility in the rare interviews he gives. He has also become well-known for his charity, last year donating £250,000 to build a school in his hometown in Senegal. This is after already building a hospital in the region.
After the African Cup of Nations final, when most players jetted off to exotic holiday locations, Mane went back to Senegal to check on the progress of the school.
We got a glimpse of his giving nature last night. At the end of extra time, with Mane having been substituted, he called over one of the ballboys to offer him his jersey. A small gesture, but you could see what it meant to the youngster involved.
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) August 15, 2019
It doesn't look like he was even asked for it, with the ballboy seeming surprised when he was handed the the jersey. We're sure it will be a prized possession for the youngster.