Lionel Messi has explained why he believes Sadio Mane should have done better than finishing fourth in the Ballon d’Or vote.
The Senegalese was behind the Argentine, Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo (somehow…) in the overall vote – despite winning the Champions League and reaching the AFCON Final with his country.
“It’s a shame to see Mane finish in fourth place,” Messi told Canal+, translated by Sky Sports.
“But I think there have been a lot of great players this year. That’s why it was difficult to choose a particular player. But I chose Sadio Mane because he’s a player that I like.
“Mane achieved a great year that was exceptional for the entire Liverpool team. That’s why I chose him. I repeat, there were a lot of very great players this year, so the choice was difficult.”
Mane’s form this season has been nothing short of sensational.
In total, he’s scored 13 goals so far and registered four assists – regularly putting in scintillating performances that have helped us reach the top of the Premier League table.
His most impressive outing came on Wednesday night in the Merseyside Derby, when he registered two stunning assists and a goal from outside of the area. In truth, he should have actually had a hat-trick, but missed two gilt-edged second-half opportunities.
Jurgen Klopp rested Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino for the game, but couldn’t start without Mane – his no.10 and primary attacker…
We are truly blessed to have him – but instead of focussing on his potential for individual awards – which is clearly huge – simply want him to be holding the PL trophy aloft in May.