Saturday Dec 21, 2019. 11:00
Former Ivory Coast international Yaya Toure is of the opinion that Sadio Mane should’ve won the 2019 Ballon d’Or award.
Mane finished fourth behind Lionel Messi, Liverpool teammate Virgil van Dijk and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Senegal international is the odds on favourite to be crowned African Footballer of the Year ahead of Reds teammate Mohamed Salah next month, but Toure – who was crowned Africa’s best four times (a joint record) – believes Mane should’ve won the biggest individual accolade in world football.
Mane has been in superb form throughout the calendar year and played an integral role in helping the Merseyside club to a sixth Uefa Champions League title with victory over Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid.
The 27-year-old has scored 13 goals and assisted a further nine in 24 games this season, and having already claimed UCL and Uefa Super Cup glory this year, Liverpool will be aiming to add the FIFA Club World Cup to their trophy cabinet with victory over Flamengo in Qatar later this evening.
“To be honest he [Mane] deserved to win the Ballon d’Or first,” Toure told reporters in Doha.
“In Africa we don’t see any better players than him.
“Did you see the votes? Did you see what he did in the last year, how many goals he scored, what he achieved with Liverpool?
“For me it is a shame when a team wins this trophy [the Champions League] and the winner of the Ballon d’Or is not coming from there,” he concluded.
Toure enjoyed a distinguished career, making a name for himself at Barcelona and Manchester City on his way to becoming one of Africa’s best ever players.