Liverpool legend named by Kyle Walker as toughest opponent - 'A nightmare!'

Manchester City right back Kyle Walker has opened up on the toughest opponents that he has faced throughout his long and successful career, placing Liverpool legend Sadio Mane right at the the top of the list. 

Admitting that both Neymar and Eden Hazard were the kinds of players he loved watching, the 33-year-old added that Mane was ‘a nightmare’ throughout their frequent clashes together in Premier League and European football. 

The Senegal hero played against Walker 15 times before his move to Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia last year across spells with Southampton, Liverpool and Bayern Munich. He was on the winning side on six occasions, drawing six, and losing only three. 

Sadio Mane Jurgen Klopp

Sadio Mane Jurgen Klopp

Two of those defeats came in heavy defeats for Liverpool at the hands of Manchester City, a 5-0 at the Etihad in which Mane was shown an early red card - and a 4-0 during the 2019-20 season after the Reds wrapped up the league title. 

Moreover, Mane scored on Walker’s teams seven times throughout their battles, including vital strikes in a 4-3 Premier League win in January 2018, the Champions League quarter-finals the same year and a 3-1 win at Anfield in November 2019. 

The last time the duo squared off was in the Champions League quarter-finals in 2023, where the two players came off the bench as City knocked the Germans out. 

“Sadio Mane was a nightmare for me,” he told the BBC's You’ll Never Beat Kyle Walker podcast. “But he was more raw. 

“He had certain movements that he would do. He was playing in a very, very good Liverpool side. Him, Salah, Firmino that was dropping deep. 

"He was good, even at Southampton. But that's why you go and move to Liverpool."

Walker: I love watching Neymar

“It's more that they do things differently,” Walker said. “You don't know what they are going to do. 

“It's off the cuff, it's like they're playing in a playground. There's two people that stand out for me, which is Neymar and Hazard. 

“They were the two that you didn't really know what they were going to do. They're just enjoying themselves. 

“I love watching Neymar, going on YouTube, because he's entertaining. As much we are in a job and in an industry that's about winning, we are entertainers. People pay to be entertained.”

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