‘It is a shame to see Mane in fourth’: Lionel Messi says Liverpool man should have been higher in Ballon d’Or rankings and explains why he voted for him as No 1 in FIFA’s The Best award
- Sadio Mane was one of three Liverpool players in the Ballon d’Or top five
- According to winner Lionel Messi, Mane should have finished higher than fourth
- Messi won the Ballon d’Or for the sixth time in his career on Monday in Paris
- Mane was in sublime form for Liverpool in the Merseyside derby on Wednesday
Messi won the Ballon d’Or for the sixth time in his career in Paris on Monday, eclipsing Mane’s team-mate Virgil van Dijk to claim the gong. Cristiano Ronaldo was third, with Mane fourth and Mohamed Salah fifth.
The Barcelona star has paid tribute to Senegal star Mane though and explained why he voted for him for FIFA’s The Best award earlier in the year.
Lionel Messi says Sadio Mane (pictured) should have been higher in the Ballon d’Or rankings
Barcelona star Messi won the Ballon d’Or for the sixth time in his career on Monday
‘It’s a shame to see Mane finish in fourth place,’ Messi told Canal+.
‘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 (for The Best award) 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 proved his credentials as one of the top five players in world football with a sublime performance in the 5-2 Merseyside derby win over Everton on Wednesday night.
The Barcelona star explained why he voted for him for FIFA’s The Best award earlier in the year
Mane proved why he is one of the top five players in world football against Everton at Anfield
The winger was the only member of Liverpool’s famed front three to start the match at Anfield but made his presence known, scoring one and providing two assists.
Mane’s brilliant through-ball saw Divock Origi round Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford with one touch before rolling a shot into an empty net to open the scoring.
Trent Alexander-Arnold then picked out Mane before he cut inside and rolled a cute reverse pass into the path of Xherdan Shaqiri who made it 2-0.
The Senegalese star then grabbed his only goal of the evening when he put the finishing touches to a swift counter attack with a brilliant left-footed effort.
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