He may have won his sixth golden ball, but Lionel Messi has revealed his dissatisfaction after seeing Liverpool winger, Sadio Mane end up in fourth place in the Ballon d’Or standings.
The Senegal international finished behind Lionel Messi, Virgil Van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo, but the Argentine superstar feels the former Southampton star should be up higher.
Mane had a stellar year with Liverpool and Senegal. The 27-year-old was the club’s top scorer in the league last season alongside teammate, Mo Salah with 22 goals.
He also played an important role in the Reds champions league success last campaign. On the international scene, he led Senegal to a second-place finish at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
But despite this, he was still not considered good enough to finish in the top three-something Messi feels it is not right.
‘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.’
However, Mane did not let the disappointment of finishing outside the top three affect him as he was brilliant for Liverpool in the Reds Merseyside derby win over Everton on Wednesday night.
The former Salzburg man was on the scoresheet while he also set up both Origi and Shaqiri as Liverpool ran out 5-2 winners.
He will hope his efforts will be crowned eventually when the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announces the player of the year in January.