It was high praise for Sadio Mane when Lionel Messi summed up the Liverpool star winger’’s fourth-place finish in the 2019 Ballon d’’Or vote as a disappointing outcome.
Boosted by the Argentine genius’ admiration for him as well as his own stellar form, Mane continues to harbour hopes of winning the prestigious award sooner than later.
“My dream is to win the Ballon d’Or and would love to do it one day,” Mane is quoted as saying during Star Sports’ show ‘Football United’.
The 2020 Ballon d’Or was cancelled recently owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mane played a massive role in Liverpool winning their first Premier League title in 30 years. Last year, Mane spearheaded the Reds’ charge to their first Uefa Champions League title since 2005.
This time around, he scored goals and made assists to keep the opposition defenders on their guard all the time.
“I always say that in life, you always have to be a challenger and for sure, football is all about being hungry in a good way - to like to win. We won the Premier League and we would like to win it again and for sure, Champions League as well,” he said.
Mane missed out last time despite a remarkable run for both his club and country Senegal.
Expressing his delight on winning the Premier League, he said, “Well, it’s a big pleasure and a big honour for me and my team-mates for sure. All the good support from around the world, specially from India as well. I think the wait has been so long, 30 years and finally, we did it, so yeah, really happy.”
He gave credit to manager Jurgen Klopp for Liverpool’s triumph.
“He gives us a lot of advice all the time which is always important for you and all the players in our career. He helped us take responsibility in the hard times, which is not really easy.”
Mane said his favourite moment in the league was when his club opened up the gap with Manchester City.
“Honestly, it was a really tough season for us, my team-mates and the fans as well because the beginning was not easy - too many contenders Man City, United, Chelsea, Arsenal.
“If I were to choose my favourite moment was when we opened up the gap over Manchester City. I think everybody could breathe at that time.”
(With PTI inputs)