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    Thursday, 5 December 2019

    Lionel Messi expected Sadio Mane to finish ahead of Ronaldo in Ballon d'Or awards

    Lionel Messi has said it is a "shame" Sadio Mane did not finish better than fourth place in Ballon d'Or awards

    The Barcelona key man won the award for a record sixth time ahead of Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk and Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo, who was joint top winner with five trophies.

    Messi stated he voted for Mane in the 2019 awards held in Paris France because of his achievements with Liverpoo and admits the Senegal international was unlucky not to break into the top three after a sensational season.

    "It’s a shame to see Mane finish in fourth place," The Argentine told Canal+.

    "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."

    Mane has had a great 12 months for Liverpool, playing a vital role in last season's Champions League win, helping the team to a club-record 31 games unbeaten in the league.

    The Senegalese scored 26 competitive goals and provided five assists last season.

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