The beginnings were tough for the boy who rose from impoverished parts of Conakry, selling water in the streets with his mother.

It’s been roughly eight years since the Liverpool’s number 8 left home to go to France for playing professional football when he was nothing more than a 16-year-old ambitious boy.

He received a hero’s welcome back in Guinea as the nation cheered the return of their European champion.

Naby Keita’s rise to stardom has indeed become a folklore in the West African nation.

The midfielder has not played for the Reds since picking up a groin injury against Barcelona in the semifinals of the Champions League. A few days ago Liverpool were pretty adamant about letting the former RB Leipzig man leave for Guinea amidst his ongoing recovery.

But the Champions League winner has been ahead of his recovery schedule, to play in the Africa Cup of Nations.

What a way has he been received by his national teammates and the coaches, with cheering faces and holding hands together as they danced and sang while rejoicing the return of their midfield superstar.

It clearly shows how dearly they need Keita for the upcoming AFCON campaign.

Keita will face his Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah in a friendly game when Egypt hosts Guinea on 16 June.

Guinea plays in Group B alongside Nigeria, Burundi and Madagascar in 2019 African Cup of Nations held in Egypt between 21 June and 19 July.  They have never won the tournament with their best finish coming in 1976 where they finished second.

Check out the video of his reception from the Guinea squad below –

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