- Liverpool and Senegal attacker Sadio Mane believes that African players are often overlooked In the awarding of the lucrative Ballon d’Or award
- Liberian George Weah remains the only African to have ever won the award to date and Mane will be hoping he can join him this year after a splendid season
- Mane is expected to battle it out against his Liverpool compatriot Mohamed Salah and Karim Benzema of Real Madrid for the award that will be given in October
Sadio Mane has claimed that African players are often overlooked in the Ballon d’Or award. The Liverpool forward believes that players of African descent are disadvantaged when it comes to the awarding of the top individual honour in football.
Mane is one of the leading contenders for this year’s award. He will be competing against his teammate Mohamed Salah and Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, who have similarly had stunning seasons.
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The trio will be in action on Saturday to decide the winner of this season’s Champions League. Mane has already led his Senegal side to their first Africa Cup of Nations title. He has also collectively won the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup with Salah.
Ahead of the Real Madrid encounter, the Daily Mail reports that Mane doesn’t feel too confident about Africans' chances of winning the award.
It’s true, if you guys(journalists) can 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.
Only one African has ever won the Ballon d'Or to date. George Weah, who is also currently the President of Liberia, defied all odds to lift the gong in 1994.
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.
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We will do everything to win and then we will see what happens with the Ballon d’Or. For me it will be special to have another bonus which is the Ballon d’Or – and I will be the happiest player in the world.
This year’s ceremony will happen on October 17th. The current holder and record winner, Lionel Messi is out of the running considering the underwhelming season he had at Paris Saint Germain.
Mohamed Salah congratulates Heung-min Son for winning the Golden Boot
Sports Brief had earlier reported that Mohamed Salah has put rivalry aside and congratulated Son Heung-min for winning the Golden Boot award.
Son, together with Salah, finished the season with 23 goals apiece to jointly share the top individual award. Salah took to Twitter to send a word of congratulations to the Tottenham Hotspur forward.
The Egyptian was reacting to a video that was doing rounds on social media of Son getting a rousing reception back in his home country of South Korea.