Barcelona superstar and six-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi extolled the performance of Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, claiming the latter deserved a better standing in this year’s Ballon d'Or rankings.
Liverpool's Mane finished fourth in the Ballon d'Or earlier on Monday December 2nd, behind teammate Virgil van Dijk and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi won the Ballon d'Or for the sixth time in his career in Paris, with Liverpool's Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah finishing fifth in the player standings.
"It's a shame to see Mane finish in fourth place," Messi told Canal+.
The Barcelona star said that he likes Mane's playing style, so he voted for him for FIFA's The Best award earlier in the year.
Messi said that it was difficult to choose a particular player as there have been a lot of great players this year, but he chose Sadio Mane (for The Best award) because Mane is a player that he admires.
"Mane achieved a great year that was exceptional for the entire Liverpool team. That's why I chose him."
The 27-year-old Mane helped Liverpool to claim the UEFA Champions League title last season as well as leading the English Premier League table during the ongoing season.