Liverpool star Sadio Mane, has recently declared that African players are usually overlooked as serious Ballon d'Or candidates, while revealing his desire to become covet the highly prestigious award.
'It's true but sad' - Sadio Mane admits Africa's tough case for the Ballon d'Or
The Senegalese winger claims the Ballon d'Or is hardly in favour of African players as he prepares to help Liverpool defeat Real Madrid in the finals of the champions league
The last time an African swooped up the award was in 1995, when ex-president of Liberia and former AC Milan striker George Weah scooped the award.
The Ballon d'Or ceremony is set to hold in Paris this October but Mane believes he is in serious contention to be bracketed alongside George Weah.
In a recent interview, when it was put to him that African players are often unfairly overlooked, the Liverpool Number 10 replied: 'It's true. If you guys say it, what can I say myself? Which is sad.
'For an African player not to have won the Ballon d'Or since George Weah it is sad for sure.
Winning the Champions League is special. I have a chance to play it again and we have a chance to win it as we have a strong team."
However, Mane holds a serious case to bring the accolade back to the continent after his outstanding achievements in 2022.
'We will do everything we can to win it and then we will see what happens, with the Ballon d'Or.
I think myself and all the Liverpool players will have targets from the beginning of the season, to go for all the trophies for sure. So far we have won two, and missed one, which is behind us.' Mane added.
'Manchester City fully deserved to win the title. To win the Champions League would be special for me and for all the other boys.
This is what we focus on. We have to do what we can to win...and the rest you guys have to decide.
'For me it would be even more special to have another bonus which is the Ballon d'Or - and I would be the happiest player in the world.' , he admitted.
The 30-year-old Senegal international led his nation - the Teranga Lions to victory in the Africa Cup of Nations final earlier in February and then helped them qualify for the World Cup finals later in Qatar.
Mane's incredible efforts with his national team have equally echoed at club level as well with his his magnificent form for Liverpool, who are aiming to avoid a repeat of the 2018 champions league finals which they lost to this year's finalist Real Madrid.
'Honestly I'm really enjoying every single moment,'
. 'The Champions League final will make it even more special (if) we win it. Two finals is something but you have to dream big and I am a player who dreams big.
'Playing a Champions League final I think is special and we need to make it even more special.
We have the squad to do it. I would say one of the best seasons...so far! I won one of the most important things in my life and it gives me even more motivation to go on for the next step.' he said.
Sadio Mane will be looking to help Liverpool win this season's Champions league finals when they face Real Madrid on Saturday night , May 28, 2022 in Paris.