Mo Salah’s Sadio Mane message sums up Liverpool duo’s relationship after ‘rivalry’ claims

It’s good to get on with the people you work with.

Whether it’s in an office, on a building site or in a shop, strong relationships inside and outside of the job can go a long way. But in football, as in other sports, you don’t necessarily need to be friends in order to be successful teammates.

Take Manchester United duo Teddy Sheringham and Andy Cole for example – two of England’s finest strikers of the late 1990s and early 2000s who played alongside each other week in, week out at Old Trafford. They didn’t like each other. They also won the treble.

Head to Merseyside in 2019 and another feud was brewing. Following two years of spectacular harmony, whispers began to suggest that Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane weren’t getting along all that well, despite being members of Liverpool‘s famous front three.

Flanking Roberto Firmino, the pair helped fire the Reds to the top of world football by destroying defences at ease hand in hand. However, a trip to Burnley that August – as Liverpool began their emphatic Premier League title charge – saw a small but intriguing eruption in Klopp’s forward line.

Mane reacted angrily when Salah refused to pass the ball to him with the score at 3-0. From a tougher position, Salah opted to shoot instead and missed. But it was Mane who substituted off shortly after, as Senegal icon vented his anger towards his boss and captain Jordan Henderson, furious at his Egyptian teammate’s decision. A storm in a teacup perhaps, but it made headlines.

Pundits like Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville had their say, with the plot from previous term often being brought up as Salah and Mane had finished on the same amount of goals (22) and shared the Premier League Golden Boot with Arsenal‘s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

“The more issues fester, the more you are parking the problem for a later date,” Carragher wrote in the Telegraph. “The disagreement earlier this season between Liverpool strikers Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah comes into the same category.

Many believed that a rivalry was brewing between Mane and Salah
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Paul Currie/BPI/REX)

“There is no way Mane lost his head solely because he did not receive a few passes against Burnley. His frustration will have been gathering for months, ensuring it only needed a trigger to bring it into the open.

But off the pitch, both players poured cold water on talk of a feud. “We have sometimes had our disagreements,” Mane admitted to France Football. “But it remains a great pleasure to play beside him because I have the feeling we speak the same type of football.”

Salah, meanwhile, made fun of the rumours rumours by tweeting a video of two young children greeting one another with each of their faces superimposed onto them, as supporters breathed collective a sigh of a relief that Klopp still had two happy campers.

Later that campaign, the Egypt captain was asked by Sky Sports who’d score more goals between him and his Senegalese strike partner come the end of 2019-20. “Yes, of course – me!” Salah laughed.

“No, no, we don’t look at it like that. If none of us score and the game finishes zero-zero – which doesn’t happen often – we are really angry and we get annoyed by that. But when we’re on the pitch and we’re winning, it’s great.

“In my mind, the way I think about it is that everything starts in the dressing room. The relationships you have with everyone can make a huge difference on the pitch. We all have great relationships and I think that helps us in games and in training. It creates a good mood.”

Liverpool won six trophies thanks to Salah and Mane’s partnership

Join the debate! Who will go down as a bigger Liverpool legend – Salah or Mane? Have your say in the comments section.

Fast forward to Wednesday, June 22, this year – the day Mane officially became a Bayern Munich player after winning six trophies playing on the opposite flank to Salah – and the pair have gone their separate ways in more than amicable fashion.

Their exchange on Instagram summed it up best, as Salah wrote alongside a selection of pictures of their time together at Anfield: “It’s been quite a ride! Thank you for all the good times and I wish you all the best in your new adventure! You will be missed by all of us.”

In an equally kind and classy reply, Mane declared: “Keep doing your things. Brother you are the best.” If there was any animosity between them, it’s in the past.”

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