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Reece James names Mane as one of his toughest opponents

Reece James has named Liverpool star Sadio Mane as one of the two toughest opponents that he has come up against.

James also namechecked former Red Raheem Sterling, who he bested in last month’s Champions League final when Chelsea beat Manchester City.

The Chelsea right-back was speaking in a pre-Euro 2020 press conference. James will be hoping to go all the way with England this summer and win the competition.

The 21-year-old will have to fight off competition from Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier if he wants to start for his country, but his chances improved after Trent Alexander-Arnold was ruled out of the tournament through injury.

When asked in a pre-Euro 2020 press conference who the best winger he has come up against in the last year is, James said: “Raheem Sterling is definitely up there.

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“I’d probably say Mane as well.”

James was always going to praise his international teammate. But the fact that he mentioned Mane is a big credit to the Liverpool star.

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Considering the calibre of winger that Reece James has come up against in the last 12 months, his selection of Mane as the best is a big compliment.

James faced the likes of Heung-Min Son, Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish, Yannick Carrasco and Allan Saint-Maximin last season.

Yet Mane was the one he remembered most. This was despite the Senegalese having a poor season by his standards.

James probably remembers Liverpool’s 2-0 win over his side at Stamford Bridge last September.

The Reds won comfortably after a quick-fire Mane brace in the second half.

Mane was superb that day as a pre-injury crisis Liverpool won the second league game of the season.

As well as his two goals, he created two big chances and succeeded with three of his four dribbles.

The then-28-year-old was at the top of his game before his form tailed off at the turn of the year.

With a performance like that, it is little wonder that James still has nightmares about him.

Hopefully, we will see more of the same next season and beyond.

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