Liverpool forward Sadio Mane snubbed for Ballon d’Or because he is African, claims Senegal teammate Cheikhou Kouyate

4 Dec

Sadio Mane would have won the Ballon d’Or if he was not African, Crystal Palace midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate believes.

The Senegal winger finished fourth in the running for the prestigious prize, behind Lionel Messi, Liverpool teammate Virgil van Dijk and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo.

Mane finished fourth in the Ballon d’Or rankings
Getty Images – Getty

Mane played an instrumental part in Liverpool’s sixth European Cup triumph and helped them to their best ever points tally in the Premier League (97), scoring 54 goals for club and country last term.

And his Senegal teammate and Crystal Palace midfielder Kouyate insists Mane would have landed the award had he been ‘Brazilian or European’.

He told The Mirror: “For me this Ballon d’Or is for Sadio Mane, there is no doubt about that.

“Listen, if Sadio was a Brazilian or a European there would not have been no debate.


“It would have been him for the award straight away and it’s not because I play with him at international level, or because I know him, it’s just what people who watch football feel.

“Just go back and watch what he did for both club and country and you will see in between the lines that no one has been better than him.

“We all know that Messi is really good, maybe the greatest player, but last season come on.

“Maybe I have to speak to him to up his social media game and start wearing expensive stuff to stand a better chance.

Kouyate believes Mane has been unfairly treated in the Ballon d’Or voting
Getty Images

“Maybe it’s not just football that they look at because there is no way three people had a better season than him.

“It’s just unbelievable how some people are judged but that is not fair.”

Liverpool and Mane are back in action on Wednesday night when they face Everton in the Merseyside derby.

Jurgen Klopp’s men are hoping to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League, having seen Man City move back to within eight points of the Reds with a defeat of Burnley on Tuesday.

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