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‘They were never best friends’ – Firmino opens up on Mane-Salah relationship at Liverpool

Former Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino has opened up on the dynamics of his relationship with ex-teammates Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah during their illustrious time at Anfield.

The formidable trio scored 338 goals collectively over their five-year stint in Merseyside, garnering a reputation as one of Europe’s most fearsome attacking forces.

While they terrorised clubs in the Premier League and across Europe, there was always a tense atmosphere between Mane and Salah, largely due to their distinct playing style.

Firmino discloses that the African duo didn’t exactly share a harmonious relationship but emphasised their unwavering professionalism and the ability to deliver when it mattered most. 

“They were never best friends – each kept himself to himself,” Firmino said in his book (via the Guardian). 

“It was rare to see the two of them talking, and I’m not sure if that had to do with the Egypt–Senegal rivalry in African competitions. 

“I truly don’t know. But they also never stopped talking, never severed ties. They always acted with the utmost professionalism.”

Firmino, often overshadowed by the spotlight on his striking partners, revealed his crucial role as the peacemaker in the iconic attacking trio.

The Brazil international highlighted a tense moment at Burnley when Jurgen Klopp’s side ran out convincing 3-0 winners, yet there was visible disagreement between Salah and Mane.

The disagreement had been brewing since the previous season, and Firmino, sensing the tension, defused the situation and ensured the focus remained on the team’s success.

Since departing Liverpool during the summer transfer window, the 32-year-old has notched three goals and three assists in 13 appearances for Al Ahli.

After bagging 111 goals and 79 assists in 362 appearances for Liverpool, Firmino has struggled to replicate his goalscoring form in the Saudi Pro League, perhaps needing more adaptation time.

Meanwhile, his former employers are in the race for their first Premier League title since 2020, sitting third in the table, three points adrift of defending champions Manchester City.

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