Demba Ba has told The Independent that it’s crazy that his compatriot Sadio Mane didn’t win the 2019 Ballon d’Or after his Liverpool heroics.
The man who collected 22 caps for Senegal is currently plying his trade for Turkish outfit Basaksehir.
Barcelona star Lionel Messi won the individual accolade for the 2019 calendar year, despite the Catalan giants only winning La Liga.
Mane led Liverpool towards the Champions League and Super Cup titles, with the Reds also collecting 97 points in the Premier League.
Ba believes that the Ballon d’Or is nothing more than a popularity contest and its days of being judged on merit are over.
He told The Independent: “The fact that Mane won the Champions League, the Super Cup, he played an unbelievable season and finished joint top goalscorer in the Premier League, it’s crazy! Not only that, he was decisive in all of the games, I believe he could have won it.
“I’ve had this talk with a lot of players. They say ‘yeah, but Messi is a better player’. Of course, everyone knows that! But in my perspective in 2019 he had a better season.”
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Ask the Liverpool forward whether or not he’s dissatisfied about not claiming the Ballon d’Or and he probably doesn’t care.
Most players know that its value is skewed and that popularity usually wins the day.
Mane was inspirational in Liverpool’s Champions League victory last season; proving to be an elite player under Jurgen Klopp.
Last season he netted 26 goals and registered five assists to help Liverpool to glory.
This time around he is on course for a similar goal return but he could lay his hands on a Premier League winners medal.
Mane just needs to keep performing. If he can keep winning trophies he won’t mind one bit that the Ballon d’Or eludes him.