Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho made a teary eyed return to his former club Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday night just a day after the Reds’ 1-0 defeat to Southampton.
Sakho left PSG in the summer after being frozen out of the first team, having lost his starting position to the Brazilian defensive duo Alex and Thiago Silva. Having failed to play a minute of the new season, Sakho completed the £18m move to Anfield.
Having played the full 90 minutes on Saturday afternoon, Sakho then flew back to Paris to watch their Ligue 1 top-of-the-table clash with newly promoted Monaco, in what was being billed as a clash of the titans in a new age of French football.
And Sakho took to the pitch before kick-off to address the fans that he said goodbye to on transfer deadline day, having been with the Parisian club since he was 12-years-old.
Holding a microphone in one hand and his daughter in the other, Sakho took to the Parc Des Princes pitch to give an emotional speech to the onlooking fans.
“I'm very proud to be here tonight,” admitted Sakho. “I remember when I was young, I was up there, there in the stands and watched PSG play. My story with PSG isn't over yet.”
The crowd then cheered the centre-back as tears began to flow from his eyes, and he waved back as he made his way off the pitch to return to the stands and watch the game, which ended in a 1-1 draw thanks to goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the home side and £53m Monaco striker Radamel Falcao.
Before taking to the pitch, Sakho was greeted by a host of former PSG players as well as staff members which included former Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele, who is now assistant coach to manager Laurent Blanc.
Sakho’s comment that his time with PSG isn’t finished will have Reds’ manager Brendan Rodgers slightly concerned, having spoken last week that he felt the club had secured its defensive future for the next 10 years.
The Frenchman made his debut in the 2-2 draw last week with Swansea, and continued at the back on Saturday when Rodgers chose to deploy four centre-backs in the form of Daniel Agger, Kolo Toure, Martin Skrtel and Sakho, dropping full-backs Andre Wisdom and Jose Enrique to the bench.
Speaking after the match, Rodgers said: “It was really what we had available. Glen Johnson is out injured, and (Martin) Kelly is still trying to work up his fitness after having been out for a year.
“We’ve got to keep an eye on Jose Enrique’s knees, and if there’s an overload on that, it could put him out longer term, and obviously we have (Aly) Cissokho out already.
Mamadou and Kolo have played at fullback before, but obviously, you lose a bit of that offensive threat. Despite that, I think they did as well as they possibly could.”