Sadio Mané, on top of winning the Champions League this season, became the proud recipient of the Onze d’Or in France, a prize voted by the readers of Onze Mondial for the best player in the world that season.
As well as being handed the trophy, the Liverpool forward sat down with the magazine for a lengthy interview where he discussed his career, including his transfer from RB Salzburg to Southampton.
His time at the Saints was crucial in helping him develop as a player, eventually leading him to Liverpool where he has thrived under Jürgen Klopp.
However, the Senegal international revealed it was a move he half made against his will.
He said: “That transfer (from Salzburg to Southampton) was tough and complicated. I’ll tell you the truth. Southampton is a very good club, but I didn’t want to go there (laughs). It was really complicated. That’s where I changed agents to the one I have now, Björn Bezemer.
“My aim was to sign at Dortmund because Jürgen Klopp wanted me. Except Salzburg was already in agreement with Spartak Moscow. They wanted to sell me in Russia to get the most money. Dortmund were ready to pay €12m. I said no to Russia. My dream was to play in the best leagues.
“This story created issues between the club and myself. I missed a game and they got knocked out of the Champions League. They started to say it was my fault. They said no to Dortmund and I was saying no to Moscow, and that’s when Southampton appeared.
“I didn’t really have a choice, so I went to Southampton. I couldn’t stay in Salzburg, couldn’t go to Dortmund or Moscow, so I signed at Southampton.”
Maybe not what Saints fans want to hear, but, at the end of the day, the forward was a good servant to the club, scoring 25 goals and assisting 14 times in 75 appearances over the course of two seasons.
Bought for just under £21m, Southampton nearly doubled their money when they sent him to Liverpool for £37m where he has flourished under Klopp.
The 27-year-old ended the 2018-19 campaign with 26 goals in 50 appearances in all competitions.