Lionel Messi baffled by Sadio Mane's fourth place finish in the Ballon d'Or
Lionel Messi baffled by Sadio Mane's fourth place finish in the Ballon d'Or
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Lionel Messi baffled by Sadio Mane's fourth place finish in the Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi has admitted that he was baffled by Sadio Mane's fourth-place finish in the 2019 Ballon d'Or rankings after an "exceptional" year with Liverpool.

Mane had an outstanding season with Liverpool aiding them to their sixth Champions League crown and finishing as the joint Premier League top scorer without taking a single penalty.

Messi voted for Mane to win the FIFA Best award earlier this year, although it was the Barcelona’s talisman who ended up winning the prize.

In an interview with Canal+, Messi heaped praise on Mane, "It’s a shame to see Mane finish in fourth place. But I think there have been a lot of great players this year.

"That’s why it was difficult to choose a particular player. But I chose Sadio Mane because he’s a player that I like.

"Mane achieved a great year that was exceptional for the entire Liverpool team. That’s why I chose him. I repeat, there were a lot of very great players this year, so the choice was difficult."

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