Sadio Mane reveals his Ballon d’Or 2019 pick between Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane

The 2019 Ballon d’Or race is heating up, with Virgil van Dijk and Lionel Messi set for a showdown. However, Van Dijk’s teammate, Sadio Mane, himself states that he would rather vote for the Argentine phenom than his fellow Liverpool star. 

Liverpool star Sadio Mane has stated that he will vote for Lionel Messi for the 2019 Ballon d’Or ahead of
fellow contender, and his teammate, Virgil van Dijk. The Senegal international says that the Dutchman is a great player but Messi has to come before him.

“Yes, for sure…after Virgil,” said Mane to The Times.

“No, Virgil is a great, great player but sorry Virgil, it has to be Messi before you.”

Lionel Messi recently chose Sadio Mane as his player of the year in The Best FIFA Football Awards. The Liverpool star takes that as a massive compliment and says that it shows how far he has come.

“It’s a great compliment when Messi votes for you. If you look at where I’ve come from, it shows I’ve come quite far. Without being for a long time at an academy, I got here. All I can say [to kids] is to keep working hard and go for your dream.”

Lionel Messi is set to compete against Virgil van Dijk for the coveted award this year. His usual rival for the top billing, Cristiano Ronaldo, is likely to finish behind the two frontrunners and in the third position.

Messi himself lost his top-three spot in the Ballon d’Or last year when he was voted only the fifth-best player in the world.