Roberto Firmino sheds light on the well-known but discreet discord between Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane during their time at Liverpool in his latest book, ‘Si Senor: My Liverpool Years.’ Having spent eight years at Anfield, Firmino, a crucial part of the successful attacking trio, reveals the dynamics within the team.
In the book, Firmino explains, “I was the link between them in our attacking play and the firefighter in those moments. For many, that disagreement [against Burnley] between Sadio and Mo was the first; for some, the first and last. But I knew it had been brewing since the previous season, 2018-19.”
Acknowledging that Salah and Mane were never close off the pitch, Firmino emphasizes their professionalism, stating, “They were never best friends; each kept himself to himself. It was rare to see the two of them talking. I truly don’t know if that had to do with the Egypt-Senegal rivalry in African competitions. But they also never stopped talking, never severed ties.”
Firmino sees his role not only in tactical contributions but also as a peacemaker, ensuring harmony within the team. He mentions, “If I didn’t do that, it would be nothing but storms between the two of them on the field.”
Reflecting on his frequent substitutions by Klopp, Firmino explains, “The Boss knew I wouldn’t throw a bottle to the ground or anything like that. If I was bothered, I’d talk to him privately afterwards.” He adds, “When a substitution was needed, it was easier to take Bobby off than to upset either of the other two.”
Mane’s departure from Liverpool to Bayern Munich in 2022 and subsequently to Al-Nassr, joining Cristiano Ronaldo, preceded Salah, whose potential move in 2024 has sparked speculation, with reports suggesting offers exceeding £200 million from Saudi Arabian teams.