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Sadio Mane has made a claim that African players are unfairly overlooked for the Ballon d’Or and has said that he is aiming to win the prestigious award.
It has been a stellar season so far for the Senegal international, both with his club and his country. Mane played a vital role in helping Liverpool win both the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup, and have also helped his country Senegal to win the Africa Cup of Nations having beating his Liverpool team mate Mo Salah’s Egypt on penalties.
And now, Mane has one last chance to add another piece of silverware this season, with the chance to win his second, and Liverpool’s seventh Champions League trophy when they take on Real Madrid in Saturday’s final in Paris.
Mane said: “It's true. If you guys say it, what can I say myself? Which is sad. This cup, the Africa Cup of Nations is one of the biggest for myself, it is the biggest trophy I have won in my life.”
“For an African player not to have won the Ballon d'Or since George Weah it is sad for sure. Winning the Champions League is special. I have a chance to play it again and we have a chance to win it as we have a strong team.”
He added: “We will do everything we can to win it and then we will see what happens, with the Ballon d'Or.”
The only African player to ever win the Ballon d’Or, is George Weah. He is the current President of Liberia 🇱🇷. He clinched the award in 1995. pic.twitter.com/ukFsKyKY3c— African Hub (@TheAfrican_Hub) May 25, 2022
“I think myself and all the Liverpool players will have targets from the beginning of the season, to go for all the trophies for sure. So far we have won two, and missed one, which is behind us.”
In recent days, doubts have been cast over Mane’s future with Liverpool as he enters the final year of his current deal. Bayern Munich are believed to be very interested in luring the winger away from Merseyside. With reports saying that the Bavarian club’s officials have met with Mane’s agent to discuss a potential transfer.
Mane has said himself that he will not answer questions about his future until after the Champions League final.
Sadio Mané on his future: “I think the answer I can give you now is I’m fully focused on the Saturday game, that is the answer I must give before the final”. 🔴 #LFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 26, 2022
“On Saturday I will give you the best answer you want to hear, for sure. I will give you all you want to hear”. pic.twitter.com/9esq38aX8L
He said: "The answer I can give you now is I feel very good, and I am fully focused on the Saturday game, that is the answer I must give before the final. But come back to me on Saturday and I will give you the best answer. For now, let's go and win it."