Mamadou Sakho challenges Liverpool to make history with Premier League title success
Sakho was born in 1990, the last time Liverpool won the top flight and the centre-back has challenged them to push on towards the end of the season
Friday 21 March 2014
Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho believes the current squad have a chance to make their own mark in history by finally ending the club's long wait for a title.
The 24-year-old France international may have only arrived in the summer in a £16million move from Paris St Germain, but that does not mean he is not well aware just how significant this season could be.
Sakho could not have been more removed from the club's last triumph.
He was just 10 weeks old when John Barnes stroked home from the penalty spot in front of the Anfield Road end against QPR on 28 April 1990 to bring the championship trophy back to the club for the 18th and last time.
But fast-forward more than two decades and the centre-back finds himself right at the heart of the most exciting season at Anfield in years.
"The last time Liverpool won the title was the year of my birth so I am up to speed with the history and know all about it," Sakho, speaking at an appearance for Gatorade, the official sports drink partner of Liverpool FC, told Press Association Sport.
"It would be fantastic to have the opportunity to go down in history, especially with it being my first season here.
"For everyone at the club it would be great, particularly the supporters, who are well aware how long it has been since we've celebrated a title.
"We have a fantastic generation of players here who are capable of creating their own mark in history.
"From the start of the season the absolute priority was to get into the Champions League and then see where we get to with two months remaining.
"That is still the case but, of course, being competitive sportsmen we always like to win.
"While Champions League qualification remains the priority we are more than happy to be involved in a direct battle for the title, but we have to make sure we have the Champions League first.
"There are plenty of games to play and lots to play for."
Sakho has experienced a mixed start to his Liverpool career. He made his debut less than a fortnight after arriving from Paris and enjoyed a six-week run in the side.
But, after the euphoria of scoring two goals for France to turn around their World Cup qualifier against Ukraine and book their place in Brazil, he lost his place in the Reds' first team, winning it back for the month of December before a thigh problem sidelined him for nearly three months.
It was a setback and, having returned the bench for last weekend's win at Old Trafford, the Frenchman is looking to get back on track.
"It has put a bit of a brake on the settling-in period. I had done well and hit the ground running and managed to play for two and a half months and was getting used to it," he added ahead of the trip to struggling Cardiff.
"But I have nothing, but thanks to the physios and medical staff here and at Clairefontain (France's national football centre) because there was been a real spirit of co-operation between the two organisations.
"It is them I have to thank for getting me back on my feet and I am almost ready back to be fighting for my place in the starting XI."
While he has not been able to settle properly on the field, off it he is finding England to his liking, having spent virtually all his life in the French capital.
"I have been struck simply by how polite people are in this country," he said.
"Everyone seems to be here to help, everyone is really neighbourly.
"At home recently I had a guy around to repair my satellite dish and a neighbour came around to warn me there was a guy on my roof, which was nice.
"Something I've not noticed before is how people drive, as having always lived in Paris I've not had anything to compare it to before.
"Certainly the way everyone gives way and lets you through is fantastic, it is not something I'd realised before.
"It is not that bad driving in Paris, but I've driven in Senegal so if you can drive in Senegal you can drive anywhere."
The best journey may yet be to come for Sakho if he can help Liverpool motor to their 19th title.
Mamadou Sakho was speaking at an appearance for Gatorade, the official sports drink partner of Liverpool FC. #winfromwithin
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