Liverpool star Mane trains with ‘best player in Senegal history’ El Hadji Diouf ahead of Afcon qualifiers

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Sadio Mane was delighted to spend time with former Liverpool player El Hadji Diouf whom he described as the best player in the history of Senegal.

Ahead of the Teranga Lions’ Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixture against Congo on Friday, the duo hung out at the gymnasium and took some pictures together after sweating it out.

While Mane is currently the captain of the Senegalese national team, Diouf is considered as one of the West African country’s greats after winning the African Footballer of the Year twice (2001 and 2002).

Diouf, whose international career spanned eight years, scored 24 goals in 70 matches for the Teranga Lions while Mane has 21 goals to his name after 71 appearances for Senegal.

Two years ago, the 28-year-old was named the best player on the African continent and he made Senegal the first country to qualify for the 2022 Afcon in Cameroon after his match-winning goal against Eswatini last November.

“With the best player in the history of our dear country El Hadji Diouf,” Mane captioned his Instagram post.

Diouf, however, described the bond he shares with his ‘younger brother’ Mane and he noted he played a key role in his move from Southampton to Anfield in 2016.

“The blood red is stronger than the Liverpool red which I also wore with pride,” the 40-year-old wrote on his social media page.

“Sadio Mane is my little brother of Green, Yellow and Red blood with the green star and I marked the way for him to Anfield road.

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“To the ultras of the Reds who do not understand this, let them know that the motto of Senegal is One People, One Goal, One Faith. And the Senegalese will always be united in victory as in defeat. It is the first value of our country. African forever, Son of Africa.”

Aliou Cisse's men will be aiming to stretch their dominance in Group I when they battle second-placed Congo at the Stade Alphonse Massamba-Debat on Friday and when they host Guinea-Bissau in Thies on March 30.

Senegal finished as runners-up at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after suffering a 1-0 defeat against Algeria in Cairo.