Lionel Messi says Sadio Mane finishing fourth in Ballon d'Or is 'a shame'

Liverpool forward finished behind Messi, Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo in the voting

Sadio Mane celebrates scoring for Liverpool in the Champions League
Image: Sadio Mane finished fourth in the Ballon d'Or voting

Lionel Messi has said it is a "shame" Liverpool forward Sadio Mane did not finish higher than fourth in the Ballon d'Or rankings.

Barcelona's number 10 won the award for a record sixth time ahead of Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk and Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo, who remains stuck on five Ballon d'Or trophies.

Lionel Messi has scored 46 goals and contributed 17 assists for club and country in 2019
Image: Lionel Messi picked up the award for a sixth time

However, Messi, who voted for Mane in FIFA's Best award, thinks the Senegal international was unlucky not to break into the top three after a "sensational" season.

"It's a shame to see Mane finish in fourth place," Messi told Canal+.

"But I think there have been a lot of great players this year. That's why it was difficult to choose a particular player. But I chose Sadio Mane because he's a player that I like.

Sadio Mane helped Liverpool to a sixth European Cup in June
Image: Sadio Mane helped Liverpool to a sixth European Cup in June

"Mane achieved a great year that was exceptional for the entire Liverpool team. That's why I chose him. I repeat, there were a lot of very great players this year, so the choice was difficult."

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Mane has had a great 12 months for Liverpool, playing a vital role in last season's Champions League win and helping the team to a club-record 31 games unbeaten in the league.

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