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WC Qualification Africa

Mane and Salah reveal their childhood 'idols' ahead of Egypt vs Senegal World Cup qualifier

14:01 GMT+3 24/03/2022
Sadio Mane-Mohamed Salah
The duo will hope to help their respective nations seal a place in the global competition when they face each other this week

Liverpool stars Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have revealed the players they idolised in their youth.

The two players are set to renew their international rivalry when Egypt and Senegal meet for the first leg of the 2022 World Cup play-off on Friday. It is a repeat of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations final whereby the Lions of Teranga won on penalties after a goalless draw in regulation and extra time.

In a recent interview, Mane went for former Senegal international El Hadji Diouf and Brazil legend Ronaldinho.

"I used to love El-Hadji Diouf and Ronaldinho, but especially Ronaldinho. He was… wow," Mane told the Fifa website.

"The goals, the skills, the moves you had never seen before. I used to pretend I was him when I was young, but I couldn’t do the things he could. I still love him. He will be my hero forever."

Egypt captain Salah opted for Ronaldo, Francesco Totti and Zinedine Zidane, "I have always loved magicians," the 29-year-old said.

"Those unique players who can do things others can’t. When I first got into football it was Zidane, the Brazilian Ronaldo and Totti. I used to love watching them and pretending I was them when I was out on the street with my friends."

Meanwhile, Pharaohs skipper Salah has promised fans 'their all' when they play Senegal in the 2022 World Cup play-off.

"We promise everyone that the players will give their all to win this match. I don’t want to talk much because everyone knows the importance of the two matches and God-Willing we will win the game," Salah said ahead of the game as quoted by Kingfut.

Excluding the Afcon final, Senegal have won three out of their last five meetings between the sides, with Egypt claiming wins on two occasions.

The Pharaohs have qualified for the World Cup three times but have never made it past the group stage.

The Lions of Teranga have made it to the global tournament twice and on their debut in 2002, reached the quarter-finals.

Only five teams will represent the continent in Qatar.