Sadio Mané on Liverpool power and Porto threat

Sadio Mané hit a hat-trick when Liverpool took on Porto in last season’s UEFA Champions League round of 16, but is trying hard not to take too much comfort from that as the teams meet again in this month’s quarter-finals.

The Senegalese forward also scored in last season’s decider, but ended up on the losing side. Could he go one better in the 2019 decider in Madrid?

On scoring a hat-trick against Porto in 2017/18 …

2018 highlights: Porto 0-5 Liverpool

It was a great moment and one of my greatest nights as a footballer. Playing in the Champions League is an outstanding feeling; playing a part in it and having the opportunity to score a hat-trick therefore meant a lot to me and I truly was delighted. Happy for the team too, as we ended up winning the game. The third one was my favourite, obviously. We played as a team and we were strong on every level, both offensively and defensively.

On his Champions League journey …

2005 highlights: The miracle of Istanbul

I would watch Champions League ties when I was younger; back then, my ultimate dream was to play in the Champions League one day, so it’s fair to say it’s a dream come true. I watched the 2005 final with a friend who was an AC Milan fan, and at 3-0 up, my friend kept telling me: “It’s over, we’re going to win.” Sadly for him, they ended up losing, but it truly was incredible. And here I am today, playing for Liverpool.

I’m enjoying every moment of it. I’m trying to give everything I’ve got so I can lift the trophy one day. The dream of any footballer is to improve year on year. This is a great period for me and I’m very happy because I’m helping the team. I think I need to never let my guard down because my dream is to improve every season.

On reaching the 2018 final …

See how Real Madrid won last season's final

It really was a fantastic experience. As I said before, playing in a Champions League final was a dream for me. Sadly for us, we were up against a great [Real] Madrid side. They deserved to win, so good for them. We have another chance this year, so we’ll try to end up lifting the trophy.

I was happy to score the equaliser, but when you don’t win the final the feeling is different. We really wanted to win. It was a bad experience for us. However, it was positive for all of us because it was the first time playing in the final. So it will help us in the future and during this season. It made us want it more.

On this season’s campaign …

Mané takes no comfort from his treble in Porto

Mané takes no comfort from his treble in Porto©AFP/Getty Images

As a football player, you have to stand up to the pressure. You have to try and savour the moment. We are doing well in the competition and in the [Premier] League, so we just need to savour these moments and enjoy them. That’s it. We have to be really focused and motivated to achieve these goals.

We have good memories of beating [Porto] by a large margin. That was last year. They will be more motivated. That’s normal. One of the greatest mistakes we could make would be to rely on what happened last year. Last year is in the past, so we will try to forget that. They will really want to win. They have an objective just like we do. Let the best team win.

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