Jurgen Klopp has praised Sadio Mane, describing the Liverpool FC striker as a ‘machine’ and a ‘legend’.
Mane scored Liverpool FC’s second equalizer in their 2-2 draw with Manchester City on Sunday, netting his 16th goal of the season in all competitions on his 30th birthday.
The Senegal international has been in excellent form this season and has scored 19 goals and made three assists in 47 games for club and country so far this season.
Mane enjoyed a well-deserved rest on Wednesday night as he started on the bench and only played the final 24 minutes of Liverpool FC’s thrilling 3-3 Champions League draw with Benfica at Anfield.
Ahead of the European encounter, Klopp singled out Mane for particular praise following his recent excellent form for the Merseyside outfit.
Writing in his program notes ahead of the Benfica clash at Anfield, Klopp said: “Everyone who played for us that day contributed to an important result, but I wanted to pick Sadio.
“It was his 30th birthday on match day and he still looks as fresh and vibrant as when he joined this club as a young professional.
“He’s a machine. What he has done for this club and continues to do puts him in the category of ‘legends’. For Liverpool and Senegal, he is playing at the highest possible level.
“What’s exciting is how he’s improving and getting stronger. When you see how he takes care of himself and his commitment to his profession, turning 30 for him is really just a number.
“His attitude and character are elite. We appreciate him so much and I know for sure that the levels he is reaching at the moment are not the peak – there is still more to come from this very special player.
Liverpool FC will face Villarreal in the Champions League semi-final later this month and Reds captain Jordan Henderson has warned his team-mates they underestimated the threat posed by Unai Emery’s side.
“They knocked out Juventus [and] bavaria [Munich] – two very good teams,” Henderson said. “It’s a very good team in its own right. It will be a very difficult tie – both legs.
“We have to be 100% ready, give it our all and hopefully we can get to the final.”
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