Yaya Toure Says Liverpool's Sadio Mane Should Have Won 2019 Ballon d'Or

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2019

Liverpool's Senegalese striker Sadio Mane (L) speaks with Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah during the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup semi-final football match between Mexico's Monterrey and England's Liverpool at the Khalifa International Stadium in the Qatari capital Doha on December 18, 2019. (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR / AFP) (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Yaya Toure has said Sadio Mane should have captured the 2019 Ballon d'Or after Liverpool won last season's UEFA Champions League. 

Lionel Messi walked away with the award for the sixth time, but Toure said it was disappointing to see Mane placed fourth in the final poll.

According to Alex Richards of the Mirror, the former Barcelona and Manchester City player explained his thoughts at the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar.

"To be honest he deserved to win the Ballon d'Or first. In Africa, we don't see any better players than him.

"Did you see the votes? Did you see what he did in the last year, how many goals he scored, what he achieved with Liverpool?

"For me it is a shame when a team wins this trophy [the Champions League] and the winner of the Ballon d'Or is not coming from there."

MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 01: Sadio Mane of Liverpool celebrates with the UEFA Champions League Trophy following his team's victory in the UEFA Champions League Final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on June 01, 2019 in Ma
Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk was tipped to win the Golden Ball after the Reds were crowned European champions for the sixth time, but the defender was beaten by Messi.

Mane signed for Liverpool in 2016 from Southampton, and over a three-year spell has developed into one of the most exciting players on the planet.

The 27-year-old's combination with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino has already reached legendary status on Merseyside, and the trident could lead Jurgen Klopp's men to Club World Cup success on Saturday against Brazilian giants Flamengo.

One of Flamengo's greatest nights came in the 1981 Intercontinental Cup in Tokyo when they beat Liverpool 3-0, and the Premier League leaders will attempt to stop lightning striking twice against the Copa Libertadores holders.

Toure also commented on Liverpool's recent form and said he thinks they can finally lift the Premier League title.

"Liverpool are great, they are doing very well and they deserve their [Premier League] position at the moment," Toure added. "There is a long way to go but Liverpool are a good side and they look much stronger than last year. The way I see City is their form this year has been quite complicated but 10 points in front Liverpool have a good, good chance."

Liverpool's Senegalese striker Sadio Mane (L) dribbles past Monterrey's defender Leonel Vangioni during the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup semi-final football match between Mexico's Monterrey and England's Liverpool at the Khalifa International Stadium in the Q

Mane started as a substitute in Wednesday's semi-final when Liverpool dramatically defeated Mexico's Monterrey 2-1.

The Senegal international came off the bench with Firmino in the second half, and the Brazilian flicked home the winner in the 91st-minute.

Messi won the Golden Ball after leading Barca to the Spanish title last term, with the Argentinian winning La Liga for the 10th time.