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'Sadio Mane is the best player in the world' - Sarr hails Liverpool 'idol' and Senegal role model

00:22 GMT+3 27/09/2019
Sadio Mane Liverpool 2019-20
The pair played together at this summer's Africa Cup of Nations, and the youngster looks up to his captain as 'one of the best men in Africa'

Sadio Mane is the best player in the world, according to Senegal team-mate Ismaila Sarr, who sees the Liverpool forward as a role model on and off the pitch.

The two featured together in this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations as Senegal reached the final, and Sarr says Mane’s influence on the squad was vital.

Sarr joined Mane in England this summer, moving to Watford in a club-record €35 million (£32.3m/$39.2m) deal from Ligue 1 side Rennes .

He has only featured sporadically so far but will be looking to impress new manager Quique Sanchez Flores – and there is no doubt who he is backing in the Premier League title race.

“[Mane is] one of the best men in Africa and in the world,” he told Watford’s YouTube channel.

“I can say that for me, he is the best player in the world. Because he is quality. He has won the Champions League.

“He has done everything for Liverpool and in all competitions, unfortunately not the Premier League but I hope he does at some point because for me, he’s the best African player in Europe.

“He plays well, he does everything well both in football and life.”

The 21-year-old Sarr earned his spot in the Senegal side on the back of a superb final season in France, finishing the season with 13 goals and 11 assists in all competitions.

He also scored the winning penalty in the Coupe de France final win over Paris Saint-Germain, ensuring Europa League qualification for his side.

While Mane and Sarr couldn’t quite get their side over the line in the AFCON final, losing 1-0 to Algeria, the experience of playing with his hero was one the Watford man clearly appreciated.

“He also does things right with us, he’s our national team leader,” he added.

“He’s a guy who does things right, even outside of football. He does what is right for him and for everybody. Because he is a nice guy and does what is right.

“On top of that, he is my idol. I love Sadio Mane. Sometimes before matches, I watch videos of him. If I’m alone, I do.”