Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates his goal against Everton during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (Photo: AP)
The 2019 Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi heaped praise on Liverpool's Senegalese forward Sadio Mane, describing his fourth place in the Ballon d'Or ranking as a "shame."
The Argentina star won his sixth Ballon d'Or trophy in Paris on Monday, beating Liverpool Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk and Juventus' Portuguese ace Cristiano Ronaldo.
Mane came in fourth ahead of his Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah, who finished fifth.
"It's a shame to see Mane finish in fourth place," Messi told Canal plus on Thursday.
"I think there were a lot of good players this term.
"It was difficult to choose a particular player. But I chose Sadio Mane (for award) because he's a player that I like.
"He spent a great year at Liverpool and he was instrumental with the team."
Mane helped Liverpool win the Champions League title for the first time since 2005 and he finished as the Premier League top scorer alongside Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah and Arsenal's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
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