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El-Hadji Diouf: Mo Salah, Sadio Mane complement each other at Liverpool

Former Liverpool forward El-Hadji Diouf has drawn similarities between Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane and how they complement each other’s performances.

In recent seasons, Salah and Mane have established their presence in the English Premier League with their goalscoring qualities in Jurgen Klopp’s team.

They both scored 22 goals in the English top-flight last season and the Senegalese forward narrowly missed out as the second-best forward in Europe for the 2018-19 campaign, behind Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.

Diouf is pleased by the relationship between the African stars, admitting that they are indisposable for each other.

“You can’t have one without the other. One of them’s left-footed (Salah) and the other’s right-footed (Mane). Sadio needs Mo like Mo needs Sadio,” Diouf told Fifa website.

“They have the same qualities: speed of execution and skill in their final touch. Salah is perhaps a little more effective in front of goal because he puts in less defensive work than Mane, but I’ll say it again: you can’t have one without the other.”

Salah and Mane are in the running to end Africa’s 24-year wait for Fifa’s foremost individual award after making it into the final 10-man shortlist for this year’s the Best footballer award.

Liberia’s George Weah was the first and last African player to have won the top honour in 1995 and Diouf is rooting for one of the two to rule the world again.

“Both are African, both are talented and both are setting an example for the next generation, like we did for them. Whichever wins, I’ll be very proud,” he continued.

“But I’m pulling for Sadio because he’s my compatriot and he’s like a little brother. Plus he has another advantage over the others: he has taste. Wherever he goes, he says that his idols are Maradona, Zidane … and El Hadji Diouf.”
During his playing career, Diouf won the African Footballer of the Year award twice in 2000 and 2001 but Mane is yet to win the continental prize and has finished second behind Salah twice in a row.

Despite the award snub, the former Bolton Wanderers star described Mane as ‘a fantastic ambassador of Senegal’ after guiding the country to the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt where they bowed to Algeria, and also for his goalscoring heroics in England.
“[Mane] is following in my footsteps. He’s doing an incredible job. He’s a fantastic ambassador for Senegal,” he added.

“Now he has a chance to write his own story. And on top of being a superb player, he’s also a great guy – humble, generous and always available for other people. We have a special relationship.”

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