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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Sadio Mane – Quiet in the dressing room, but a real fighter – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (R) celebrates with teammate Sadio Mane

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Nov 24, 2017. 16:00


Sadio Mane’s Senegal teammate Pape Souare says the Liverpool forward is always quiet and prefers to let his feet do the talking on the field of play.

The Crystal Palace defender in the English Premier League reveals that they were always driven by the dream to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.

Mane was only 10-years-old when the Lions of Teranga reached the knockout stages of the 2002 edition in Japan and South Korea.

Coach Aliou Cisse, who was part of the 2002 heroes team, will now pin his hopes on the ‘Smiling Assassin’ to carry the team’s hopes heading to Russia next year.

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“In the dressing room, he is a quiet guy but he’s a very nice guy and a good character to have around,” Souare told BBC Sport.

“Sadio is a complete player. He is very fast, has quick feet and can change direction very quickly.”

On the other hand, Liverpool fan Gareth Roberts, who is the editor of The Anfield Wrap podcast, added that the 25-year-old is a real fighter.

“One thing I like about Mane is that he’s got real fight, real character,” added Roberts.

“If the game is not going your way, you can always rely on Mane to keep going, keep plugging away, keep trying to win the match – he’s got that fighting spirit.

“While there’s been huge debate about Philippe Coutinho potentially leaving, actually Sadio Mane is arguably Liverpool‘s most important player right now.”



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MCA defender: I’ll keep Sabelo Ndzinisa quiet


by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday May 31, 2017. 15:30


Ahead of the meeting of Mbabane Swallows and MC Alger on Friday, defender Ayoub Azzi has promised to keep prolific striker Sabelo Ndzinisa quiet.

The Swaziland side will host MCA for a CAF Confederation Cup Group B clash in Lobamba.

Swallows come into the match on a high following their 4-2 win over South Africa’s Platinum Stars earlier this month, a match which saw Ndzinisa hit all four goals for the hosts.

Yet Azzi, who is set to replace the suspended Rachid Bouhenna in MCA’s defence, believes he will be able to keep the attacker quiet.

“I followed the match between Mbabane and Platinum Stars and I can tell you that [Swallows] is a team that practices a beautiful football with this striker [Ndzinisa],” Azzi told Le Buteur.

“We will do everything to block the spaces and if the coach decides to make me play, well I will do my work by muzzling this centre-forward.”

Azzi added, “For my part, I am 100 percent ready for this meeting. We know that a good result this Friday will greatly open the doors of the quarterfinals.”



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