Liverpool are one of the teams most affected by the African Cup of Nations with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita departing with Egypt, Senegal and Guinea respectively
Liverpool star Sadio Mane has called out Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita at the AFCON with his country Senegal gunning for the top prize.
The forward is hoping to fire his country to the title – which would be the first-ever in their history.
Mane is not the only one, with Ismaila Sarr, Kalidou Koulibaly and Idrissa Gueye among the top-class players who are trying to write a new chapter for Les Lions de la Teranga.
But standing in their way are several other nations with high ambition of lifting the trophy, including seven-time winners Egypt – no one has won the competition more than them.
Host country Cameroon are also looking for success, as well as the Ivory Coast, Algeria and Nigeria, but Mane does not mind who stands in his ways with his sights set on gold.
And that will mean potentially facing his Liverpool pals Salah and Keita along the way – but he does not mind, in fact he is relishing it.
“I have a special message for my good friends… Naby Keita and Mo Salah,” he said in a video message shared on social media.
“Unfortunately I can’t play against two teams in the final, so I have to play against one [hinting Senegal will reach the final].”
Mane went on to warn his Liverpool teammates that they will be beaten 1-0 in the final should they get there, adding: “I want to say good luck to all of you, I’ll see you soon.”
The tournament has already got underway after Cameroon opened the competition with an entertaining 2-1 win over Burkina Faso in Yaounde.
Cape Verde won their opener 1-0 against Ethiopia while Mane’s Senegal are in action tomorrow afternoon.
They begin their tournament against Zimbabwe and the Reds star has high ambitions to start off with a win.
His Liverpool pal Keita then kicks off his country when they face Malawi after Senegal’s match.
Jurgen Klopp is desperate for his best players to return with big matches left to play this month, including against Arsenal, Brentford and Crystal Palace.