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Liverpool winger Saido Mane has revealed the secret behind Jurgen Klopp's successes since taking over at Anfield- being a father figure to players in the dressing room.
In a revealing new interview with France Football, the Senegalese international lifts the lid on the mood within the Anfield dressing room and explains how Jurgen Klopp has transformed the club since taking over in 2015.
Mane said: "His secret, I think, is to be the team's dad. Between us, everything clicked straight away.
"We all love him like a father and we fear him like one too.
"He takes up a lot of space in my life, and not just in football. He's great as a person.
"I trust him blindly, like most of the dressing room, I think."
Since taking over at Liverpool in 2015 Klopp has transformed the club from top to bottom, turning a team of also-rans into serial winners, taking them to the top of the Premier League and winning the Champions League for the first time since 2005.
And Saido Mane has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of Klopp's coaching style, being named as one of a record-breaking seven Liverpool players to be nominated for the Ballon d'Or shortlist this year.
Elsewhere in the interview Mane heaped praise upon Liverpool teammate Naby Keita, calling him a 'true friend' and claimed he was like a brother to him.
"He's more than a friend for me, he's a brother" Mane said.
"It hasn't been easy for him lately because he was injured for a long time, but I know he'll come back at his best, because he's working hard to do so.
"He just needs to improve his English to be understood more by everyone, but to be able to count on a true friend in the group, that's priceless. It's even calming at times."
Mane also dispelled rumours that he and Mohamed Salah don't get along, and insisted that their disagreements from earlier in the season were firmly behind them.
"Salah's a crazy goalscorer and an exceptional player who can do everything," he said.
"He's a crazy goalscorer and an exceptional player who can do everything," he said.
"We have sometimes had our disagreements, but it remains a great pleasure to play besides him because I have the feeling we speak the same type of football."
Mane found himself at the centre of controversy this weekend after Man City manager Pep Guardiola accused him of being a diver, but Jurgen Klopp was quick to come to his player's defence.
"I couldn't really believe it to be honest and then I saw it," Klopp said
"I am not sure if Pep spoke in that moment about Sadio or the team - both is not too nice to be honest."
"But I can assure you that Saido is not a diver".
Words By Tom Sanders
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