Ibrahima Konate has endeared himself to Liverpool fans with comments about protecting his teammates or, as he put it, his ‘family.’
When Curtis Jones was kicked in the stomach through a football by Cristiano Ronaldo, tempers flared at Old Trafford.
It was a classless move from the Portuguese striker and one that might have warranted greater disciplinary action. He was swamped by furious Liverpool players and Konate was at the forefront of their protests.
The funniest part of the whole mini brawl was the way the 6ft5 defender pushed Bruno Fernandes and Fred around, with the Brazilian tossed aside by the massive Frenchman.
Asked about the viral moment, Konate has explained: “I don’t know why I did this; it was natural, you know.
“But after the game I received so many messages, maybe 50 times my friends sent me the videos. I said, ‘no!’, because it was natural, you know.
“But yes, it was funny. I just protect my family.”
Liverpool fans react to Konate comments
Liverpool fans on social media have become somewhat obsessed with Konate. As much for his huge on-field presence as his bubbly, humble persona off the pitch.
While many expected Konate to play a bigger role in the opening stages of his career at Anfield, it is not a huge surprise that Jurgen Klopp is easing him into the side.
Liverpool’s centre-backs are so important to the way the Reds attack. They also play a ludicrously high line when you look at it compared to other sides. But it works because the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip are world-class at defending in isolated 1v1 situations.
The glimpses we’ve seen of Konate have been promising but it is clear he still needs more time. His best performance came against AC Milan in Liverpool’s most recent European outing. Hopefully he can build on that to put pressure on Matip’s place in the starting XI.