Ballon d’Or 2019: Kouyate reveals reason why Messi won ahead of Mane

Senegal midfielder, Cheikhou Kouyate, has said his team-mate Sadio Mane was overlooked for the Ballon d’Or, because he is African.

Mane finished in fourth at the event on Monday, behind Lionel Messi, Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 27-year-old has enjoyed a fine 2019, scoring 54 goals for club and country last term, as he helped Liverpool to the Champions League.

Mane also led Senegal to second place at AFCON and Kouyate insists his teammate would have landed the award had he not been African.

“For me this Ballon D’or is for Sadio Mane, there is no doubt about that.

“Listen, if Sadio was a Brazilian or a European there would not have been no debate.

“It would have been him for the award straight away and it’s not because I play with him at international…

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