The Senegalese attacker has said sorry for his absence from football’s night of nights, but hopes he can hold the major honour aloft in 12 months
Liverpool star Sadio Mane has apologised for not attending the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris on Monday night, but feels he might be a contender for the award next year
The 27-year-old finished fourth in the award voting behind winner Lionel Messi, Reds team-mate Virgil van Dijk and Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
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With an important Premier League match against Merseyside rivals Everton on Wednesday, Mane sent a video message explaining why he wasn’t at the event.
And he also predicted that this year’s winner could be presenting the trophy to him at the ceremony in 12 months time.
“Hello everyone, it’s Sadio Mane – I would have loved to be here with you, but sadly my schedule didn’t allow me, because I have a game this Wednesday,” Mane said.
“I congratulate the winner and give him an appointment next year. I’ll try to be there and maybe lift the Ballon d’Or. Inshallah. See you soon, bye.”
Mane has been in lethal form recently, starting with a stunning 22-goal league season in 2018-19, to help the Reds only lose one Premier League match for the entire campaign.
The Senegal international has continued this dominance in the current season, with eight goals and four assists in 14 league battles so far.
Mane’s club team-mate Mohamed Salah finished in fifth position, while PSG phenom Kylian Mbappe (sixth), Liverpool keeper Alisson Becker (seventh), Bayern hitman Robert Lewandowski (eighth) and Manchester City duo Bernardo Silva (ninth) and Riyad Mahrez (10th) rounded out the top 10.
USWNT star Megan Rapinoe picked up the women’s Ballon d’Or Feminin after her extraordinary performances in her nation’s World Cup victory – becoming only the second women after Ada Hegerberg to win an honour that started last year.
Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt won the Trophee Kopa award, for the best player under the age of 21, after his achievements in captaining Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals.
The Yachine Trophy for best goalkeeper was lifted by Liverpool shot-stopper Alisson, who was part of the Reds’ Champions League success and their extraordinary season in the Premier League, pushing Man City to the brink.