Former Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino has released a new book detailing his time at the Premier League club. Sí Señor: My Liverpool Years came out to the public on Thursday, Nov. 9. The book covers a wide range of topics during his eight-year stay on Merseyside. Nevertheless, one particular subject matter has specifically grabbed attention.

In the book, Firmino addressed the complicated relationship between Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. The trio previously formed one of the most dangerous attacking lines in all of Europe. The Reds collected UEFA Champions League and Premier League titles with the formidable front three.

Brazil striker says Mane-Salah relationship was poor before infamous 2019 incident

The club obtained these trophies as tensions were high between Mane and Salah. The peak of the feud between the two stars seemingly came during a 2019 matchup against Burnley. Mane publicly fumed on the bench after Klopp pulled him out of the match.

The Senegal international was furious at Salah for not squaring a pass to convert an easy tap-in goal. Firmino, however, claims that the tensions between his two teammates were boiling well before the moment against Burnley.

The Liverpool trio of Mane-Firmino-Salah was one of the best front threes in the history of the Premier League.
The Liverpool trio of Mane-Firmino-Salah was one of the best front threes in the history of the Premier League.

The Liverpool trio of Mane-Firmino-Salah was one of the best front threes in the history of the Premier League.

“I knew those guys very well, maybe better than anyone,” wrote Firmino. “It was me out there on the field, right in the middle of them. I saw first-hand the looks, the grimaces, the body language, the dissatisfaction when one was mad at the other, I could feel it. I was the link between them in our attacking play and the firefighter in those moments.”

“For many, that disagreement [against Burnley] between Sadio and Mo was the first; for some, the first and last. But I knew it had been brewing since the previous season, 2018-19. My instinct and my duty was to defuse the situation between them. Pour water on the fire – never petrol.”

Klopp subbed Firmino instead of attacking teammates to keep peace

Firmino claims that he did his best not to take sides and instead play peacemaker. Along with scoring goals and providing assists, the Brazilian helped fuse the dynamic front three together. Firmino also hinted that manager Jurgen Klopp opted to substitute him more often than his attacking teammates to ease tensions as well.

“I never took sides. That’s why they love me: I always passed the ball to both; my preference was for the team’s victory,” continued Firmino. “Many focus on what I brought to the attacking trio in tactical terms, but perhaps just as important was the human element: my role as peacemaker, unifier. If I didn’t do that, it would be nothing but storms between the two of them on the field.”

“Maybe that’s why I was the one most often substituted by Klopp. The three of us had very different personalities and the boss knew I wouldn’t throw a bottle to the ground or anything like that. If I was bothered, I’d talk to him privately afterwards. When a substitution was needed, it was easier to take Bobby off than to upset either of the other two.”

The terrific trio eventually split up when Mane departed Liverpool for Bayern Munich in 2022. Firmino followed suit by joining Saudi Pro League side Al-Ahli earlier this summer. The two, however, now play in the same league as Mane signed with Al-Nassr back in August. Salah currently has one more season under contract in his deal with the Reds.