Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho has refused to be branded a ‘hero’ following France’s 3-0 victory over Ukraine in their World Cup play-off second leg.
The centre back struck twice for Les Bleus and Karim Benzema grabbed the other, as Didier Deschamps’ side came from two-goals down in the first leg to qualify for Brazil 2014.
But, rather than revel in individual glory, the 23-year-old – who joined the Reds in a £15million move from PSG in the summer – decided to play the team game in the immediate aftermath of the victory.
“There’s pure happiness and we’ve written a page in French football history with this,” he said, according to The Daily Express.
“A lot of people didn’t believe in us: but there were also plenty who did. France showed a lot of virtues and it was extraordinary for everybody. I don’t see myself as a hero. The team was the hero.”
Sakho has been a revelation at Liverpool this season, earning a regular place in Brendan Rodgers’ side as part of an inter-changeable 3-5-2 formation.
His form has also seen more established players drop to the bench on Merseyside, with Daniel Agger regularly missing out behind Sakho, Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure at Anfield.
And, he carried that onto the international stage on Tuesday, netting in the 22nd and 72nd minute to secure a famous victory for the 1998 winners.
Rodgers will be hoping Sakho returns to Liverpool full of confidence, with the Reds facing a tricky trip to Goodison Park for the Merseyside derby.