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27th May 2022

Sadio Mane claims African players are unfairly overlooked for Ballon d’Or

Daniel Brown

Mane African players Ballon d'Or

‘For an African player not to have won the Ballon d’Or since George Weah it is sad’

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has suggested that African players are not considered as serious Ballon d’Or candidates as he discussed his desire to become his continent’s first winner since 1995.

The 30-year-old has enjoyed a successful 2022, leading Senegal to victory in the Africa Cup of Nations final and scoring the winning penalty to secure their place at the World Cup finals.

He has also been in scintillating form for the Reds, playing a vital role in the Merseyside outfit winning the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and reaching the Champions League final on Saturday night.

While Mane is focused on success with both club and country, he is also keen to win the game’s biggest individual prize – and become the first African player since George Weah to win the Ballon d’Or.

Mane African players Ballon d'Or

Mane hoping for Ballon d’Or glory

However, the former Southampton man believes that it is ‘sad’ that an African player has not won the prestigious award in a number of years, and that players are often overlooked.

When asked if African players are often unfairly overlooked, Mane replied: “It’s true. If you guys say it, what can I say myself? Which is sad. This cup, the Africa Cup of Nations is one of the biggest for myself, it is the biggest trophy I have won in my life.

“For an African player not to have won the Ballon d’Or since George Weah it is sad for sure. Winning the Champions League is special. I have a chance to play it again and we have a chance to win it as we have a strong team.

“We will do everything we can to win it and then we will see what happens, with the Ballon d’Or. I think myself and all the Liverpool players will have targets from the beginning of the season, to go for all the trophies for sure. So far we have won two, and missed one, which is behind us.

“Manchester City fully deserved [to win the title]. To win the Champions League would be special for me and for all the other boys. This is what we focus on. We have to do what we can to win…and the rest you guys have to decide.

“For me it would be even more special to have another bonus which is the Ballon d’Or – and I would be the happiest player in the world.”

Mane African players Ballon d'Or

Liverpool man promises update on his future soon

Mane’s contract at Liverpool expires in June 2023 and Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are seemingly keen on adding the attacker to their ranks. However, the 30-year-old has promised that he will reveal his intentions about what comes next for him after the clash with Madrid at the weekend.

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