Liverpool winger Sadio Mane is officially the fourth-best player in the world according to the 2019 Ballon d’Or rankings.
The Senegal international finished just outside the podium places for France Football’s annual gong, with Lionel Messi scooping his sixth prize.
His Liverpool teammate Virgil van Dijk came in second, while Cristiano Ronaldo finished third.
It is a great moment for the 27-year-old, who has enjoyed a phenomenal year at Anfield.
Last season he was key in helping the Reds win the Champions League, and he finished joint-top scorer in the Premier League.
This calendar year, he has 29 goals with his finishing having reached a whole new level.
Interestingly, Mane placed one position higher than fellow Anfield forward Mo Salah, suggesting he has finally, fully, emerged from the Egyptian’s shadow.
TBR’s view – Mane Liverpool’s top dog
Although Mane has been in better form than Salah for some time, the latest Ballon d’Or rankings almost feel like Mane has finally been released from his teammate’s shadow.
Placing higher than Salah is no less than he deserves – not only is he looking just as dangerous as Salah these days, but his defensive work is considerably better
He appears to convert chances more easily, and seems to choose the best option more often than his teammate.