SADIO MANE has become the highest-scoring African player of all time in the Champions League knockout stages.
Sadio Mane scored Liverpool’s third goal in a 3-2 away win at VillarrealCredit: AFP
Didier Drogba was the previous highest scoring African player in the Champions League knockout stagesCredit: EPA
That saw Liverpool through to the Champions League final with a 5-2 aggregate success and they will face the winner of Manchester City versus Real Madrid.
Mane’ 74th-minute strike saw him move onto 15 goals, overtaking Chelsea legend Didier Drogba’s haul of 14.
The Ivorian reached that total in 46 knockout appearances for the Londoners.
Mane has reached 15 in just 26 games in the knockout stages.
His team-mate Mo Salah is the third-highest scoring African with 11 goals in 27 game and former Barcelona star Samuel Eto’o is next on 10 in 38 matches.
Ex-Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor is next on the list with seven goals in 21 games in the KO stages.
Mane has impressed wherever boss Klopp has played him in that imposing forward three.
Speaking about Mane’s importance to the team, Klopp said recently: “He can play left and can play central, both positions world class.
“He started for us here at Liverpool on the right wing, the older ones in the room will remember he scored at Arsenal, maybe his first goal when he cut inside and fired the ball with his left foot in the far corner.
“So, yes, absolutely outstanding. Love it. In the moment it’s just, for us, a good alternative.
“Sometimes we want him to drop slightly more, today we wanted him to stay more between the centre-halves, keep them away and offer the runs in behind.
“He has the skillset for it, that’s the reason why he is there.”