Thiago Silva, one of the world’s best defenders over the past decade, has waxed lyrical about Liverpool’s no.10 Sadio Mane.
The pair came up against each other recently in a friendly between Brazil and Senegal, with Mane the best player on the pitch by some distance.
Silva also faced Mane twice last season in the Champions League Group Stages. PSG qualified from the group, but were knocked out by Manchester United in the Last 16, with Liverpool going on to win the competition.
“Sadio Mane is a world class player. He is almost perfect. He moves very fast, controls the ball well and is very intelligent in his movements,” he said, reported in the Echo.
“With what he has achieved this year, I think he deserves to be in the discussion for the Ballon d’Or.”
Mane is in the best form of his career right now, undoubtedly. He has eight goals in total this term, having last season won the Premier League Golden Boot jointly with Mo Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
However, he didn’t score any penalties, unlike his team-mate and Arsenal’s superstar, making his achievement all the more impressive.
There was a time in 2017/18 when Liverpool were criticised for relying too heavily on Salah, but Mane is now matching the output of the Egyptian King and alongside Roberto Firmino, arguably outdoing the former Roma attacker in terms of overall contribution.
Not that it should be viewed as a competition, of course. Combined, they’ve helped us top the Premier League after eight games. Long may it continue.