Thursday Dec 05, 2019. 11:00
Senegal defender Cheikhou Kouyate says his national teammate Sadio Mane was robbed of the Ballon d’Or title, suggesting that the fact that he is from the African continent had counted against him.
Liverpool star Mane came fourth on the list, with almost half the number of voting points as winner Lionel Messi, and behind clubmate Virgil van Dijk and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
“For me this Ballon d’Or is for Sadio Mane, there is no doubt about that,” Kouyate was quoted in English newspaper, The Mirror.
“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 it’s not just football that they look at because there is no way three people had a better season than him [Mane]. It’s just unbelievable how some people are judged but that is not fair.”