Atletico Madrid right-back Santiago Arias has suggested in an interview with AS that he is relishing the challenge of stopping Liverpool forward Sadio Mane.
Los Rojiblancos will attempt to stop the Reds in their tracks this evening as the two clubs meet at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid.
The 27-year-old has 16 goals and 11 assists to his name this season and is very much an integral part of the way in which Jurgen Klopp’s team like to play.
Colombian defender Arias has only played 11 games in all competitions this season but did play 66 minutes of the weekend draw with Valencia.
The 28-year-old believes it’ll be a tough challenge to stop Mane who he calls a complicated player.
He told AS: “Mane is a complicated player. I don’t know whether I will play or not, but if I have the opportunity, I want to do it as always, giving all of myself to contribute to the team.
“I already had the opportunity to play against Mane at the World Cup, we were in the same group, and I know the qualities he has, how good he is and how complicated the match is going to be.
“But we have the team and the players to deal with the match.”
Mane has scored twice and registered two assists in this season’s Champions League. He will hope to add to that tally tonight against a player who hasn’t played much football.
Arias has been thrust into action following an injury to Kieran Trippier and he should keep his place in the starting line-up tonight.
Liverpool are in search of a second successive Champions League title. Tonight will bring back happy memories as the venue where the Reds lifted the title back in June.
Mane typically avoids the main share of the plaudits, with Mo Salah often praised more due to his the higher number of goals scored.
The £100,000-a-week forward makes Liverpool tick though and Arias will need to be on top form to keep him at bay this evening.