Liverpool: Sadio Mane hits out at Ballon d'Or organisers


Liverpool star Sadio Mane has criticised France Football's decision to leave a certain African star out of the 30-man 2021 Ballon d'Or nominees shortlist. 

The Reds' No. 10, who was on South African shores on Tuesday after Senegal's 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Namibia was moved to Johannesburg's Orlando Stadium, has now described Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy's snub for this year's Ballon d'Or as "unacceptable".

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Mendy has won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, as well as the UEFA Men's Goalkeeper of the Year award in 2021. However, this was seemingly not enough to warrant him a Ballon d'Or nomination, with Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma the only shot-stopper to make the shortlist. 

"It is unacceptable," Mane told reporters when asked about Mendy's omission after the Lions of Teranga's 3-1 win over Namibia on Tuesday afternoon, per the Metro. 

"I do not understand, these are things to deplore." 

Mane's national teammate Kalidou Koulibaly also expressed his disappointment over the decision, claiming that the former Rennes 'keeper, who kept nine clean sheets in 12 Champions League matches last season, deserved to be in with a shout.

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"It's a real shame that Edou isn't one of them. He is the first African goalkeeper to win the Champions League," the Napoli defender said. 

"We must continue to work and move forward. We have to do the double [the work] of some people to be well judged. 

"Edou is a very positive person. We talked about it together. He will continue to fight to be part of it. For me, he has a place among these 30 players."

Here are all the nominees for the 2021 Ballon d'Or award: