Mane misses out on Ballon d’Or top 3
The 2019 Ballon d’Or award ceremony took place earlier this week on December 2nd.
It would be Barcelona’s Lionel Messi who walked away with the award for the 6th time, retaking his crown from the 2018 winner, Luka Modric.
Messi’s closest rivals for the award were Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, who finished 2nd and Cristiano Ronaldo, who came 3rd.
Here is the 2019 Ballon d’Or Top 3
The ranking > https://t.co/cSurv8xUiL
— France Football (@francefootball) December 2, 2019
As well as having VVD in the top three, Champions League holders Liverpool also had Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Alisson Becker in the Ballon d’Or top 10.
Klopp praises Mane
However, while there is no doubting that Ronaldo is one of the greatest players to ever grace a football pitch, did he really deserve to be in this year’s top three?
A case could instead be made that Sadio Mane, who finished the joint-top scorer in the Premier League last season, reached the 2019 AFCON final and won the 2019 Champions League with Liverpool should have instead been in that final three along with Messi and van Dijk.
But regardless of his finish this year, Jurgen Klopp has backed Mane to continue to climb the Ballon d’Or table and have an incredible career, if he stays healthy:
“Sadio is in incredible shape. Since his first day he was an incredibly important player. I remember his goal against Arsenal, running down the line, cutting inside and then with the next step with the left foot in the far corner.
“Sadio especially in the game against Barcelona was really impressive. It was like we had three of him on the pitch and he kept that shape. If he stays healthy he will have an incredible career in front of him and he can climb that table Ballon d’Or wise. He is in a very good way and I am really happy for him.” As quoted by the Telegraph.