Mane proud to be fourth but targets Ballon d'Or glory


Six-time Ballon d'Or victor Lionel Messi has said it is a "shame" Liverpool's Senegalese forward Sadio Mane did not finish higher than fourth in the 2019 Ballon d'Or rankings.

Megan led the USA to win the World Cup in France in July.

"For sure I am happy to win it and, like I always said, I'm here trying to be my best all the time and it's an honour for me".

Rapinoe did not attend the awards gala but thanked the voters in a videotaped message.

"It's absolutely incredible congrats to the other nominees".

She told France Football that she believed her win was a recognition of her success off the field as well as on it.

"An incredible goal. And each year he made big steps and is in a good way".

The accolades all came while she used the platform of an ascendant year for women's soccer to push for the American women's national team to receive equal pay as the men's team and for LGBTQ civil rights.

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Mane was further back but the Senegal worldwide suggested more success with European champions Liverpool could help him compete for France Football's prestigious prize. Norway's Ada Hegerberg will not retain her title after missing the World Cup.

The 34-year-old was the driving force behind the US team that claimed a record-extending fourth world title in July.

Van Dijk was one of four Liverpool players in the top 10, with Sadio Mane fourth, Mohamed Salah fifth and goalkeeper Alisson seventh.

Sadio Mane has been named Liverpool's Standard Chartered Player of the Month for November.

The Barcelona star won the award for a record sixth time earlier this week ahead of Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk and Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo. "It's a completely different moment, lived with my family and my children", Messi said. "As my wife used to say, you should never stop dreaming but always work to improve and continue to enjoy yourself".

"I'm aware of how lucky I am but sometimes the demands of everyday life means you are not allowed to enjoy everything".

The latter finished in third place for the award organised by magazine France Football and voted for by a panel of 48 journalists. A women's category was added a year ago when the award went to Norway's Ada Hegerberg.