Pep Lijnders has claimed that he never said hello to Sadio Mane at Liverpool, instead greeting him with a ‘whoosh’ sound.
Speaking to The Coaches’ Voice, Lijnders said that because Mane was so quick, he created his own greeting for him.
“Then there was Sadio Mane. Machine. I never used to say hello to Sadio when he walked by; I always said ‘Whoosh!’ because he was just so quick,” said the Liverpool assistant manager.
“But he was also a warrior, a player who pushed himself, who played on the edge but was so well tactically developed too. What he has done for the club is massive.”
One of a kind Sadio Mane
Lijnders was speaking about Mane after he is no longer a Liverpool player. In the years to come, we’ll have to get used to the 30-year-old being spoken about in such deference.
It often happens that player’s aren’t truly appreciated until they’ve retired or are no longer around.
Mane was never underappreciated at Liverpool, far from it. But it’s easier to look back on what a player has achieved once their story has been finished.
Given how good Mane was at Anfield, his own story is only going to grow and grow as the years pass.
It’s rare to find such an electric player who is also a first-class goal-scorer. That’s something that Liverpool are likely to find out as the seasons tick on, and Mane’s legend will only be enhanced because of it.
That isn’t to say that Liverpool aren’t well prepared for his exit. Luis Diaz has had an explosive start to his Reds career and will certainly give his best Mane impression during his time on Merseyside.
The Colombian has the talent and desire to hit the heights that Mane did whilst playing in his position. But they are different players, too.
Sadio wasn’t the best player in Liverpool history or anything like that. But thanks to his relentless work-rate, appetite for self-improvement and his penchant for turning up in big-games, we may never see another quite like him again.