Mane has been great for Senegal in 2022, leading them to victory in the Africa Cup of Nations and then navigating them to the World Cup finals; his outstanding performances have coincided with his superb form for Liverpool, who will try to win the Champions League on Saturday night.
Sadio Mane has argued that African players are not regarded as major Ballon d’Or prospects, as he expresses his goal to win the award for the first time since 1995.
Mane’s long-term future on Merseyside remains uncertain, with Bayern Munich reportedly interested in signing him, and the 30-year-old has pledged to divulge his plans for the future following the match against Real Madrid.
What is undeniable is Liverpool’s number 10’s determination to win the game’s most prestigious individual award. It will be presented in a ceremony in Paris in October, but Mane believes he is attempting to scale a mountain to demonstrate that he is worthy of being grouped with George Weah.
When told that African players are frequently disregarded, Mane responded, “It’s true.” What can I say when you guys say it? Which is a pity. This cup, the Africa Cup of Nations, is one of the most important in my career; it is the biggest trophy I have ever won.
‘ It is regrettable that no African player has won the Ballon d’Or since George Weah. Winning the Champions League is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I have another chance to play, and we have a good chance of winning because we have a powerful team.
‘We’ll give it our all to win it, and then we’ll see what happens with the Ballon d’Or,’ said the team. I believe that all of the Liverpool players, including myself, will set goals from the start of the season to win all of the trophies. So far, we’ve won two games and missed one, which is already in the past.
‘Manchester City deserved to win’ (to win the title). Winning the Champions League would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the other boys and me. This is where we concentrate our efforts. We must do all possible to win…and the rest is up to you.
‘Having another bonus, the Ballon d’Or would be even more wonderful for me, and I would be the happiest player on the planet.’ Whatever happens this summer, Mane, whose current contract expires in June 2023, should have no concerns about his place in Liverpool’s pantheon of modern greats. He is undoubtedly Jurgen Klopp’s most important signing, the first big-money player who has been a screaming success.
He’s been the man for Liverpool’s big moments, scoring in the Champions League final against Real Madrid in 2018, winning a penalty against Tottenham the following year, destroying Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final in April, and continuing to score crucial goals.