EPL

Mane proud to be fourth but Liverpool star wants Ballon d'Or glory

By Sports Desk December 07, 2019

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane set his sights on winning the Ballon d'Or after finishing fourth in the voting in 2019.

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi claimed the award for a record sixth time at Monday's ceremony in Paris.

Mane's club team-mate Virgil van Dijk was named runner-up and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo ranked third, some 210 points behind his Argentine rival.

Mane was further back but the Senegal international suggested more success with European champions Liverpool could help him compete for France Football's prestigious prize.

The Reds, now a force at home and abroad, had four players in the top 10 and six in the top 20.

"That means we are a great team with great players and great quality," Mane told his club's website.

"The boys still have a lot to show and hopefully this season we can show it.

"I am very proud and happy to be named fourth in the world. I am looking forward and why not number one, maybe?

"I will do everything possible to win the Champions League and Premier League with Liverpool and we'll see what's going to happen."

Messi himself said it was a "shame" Mane had not finished higher in the aftermath of a 22-goal Premier League campaign.

The 27-year-old bounced back by starring in the 5-2 trouncing of Everton in the Merseyside derby and could start again when the leaders visit Bournemouth on Saturday.

"I think tiredness is in the head. I'm ready to go - I'm feeling fresh again," he said.

"I expect [to be rested at some point], but when they put me on the bench I respect it and I will be here to push my team-mates because we are Liverpool. 

"Wednesday was a good example with Bobby [Firmino] and Mo [Salah], it meant that other players can get the job. I'm just here and whatever they decide, I am ready to go."

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    ROUND-UP

    - Romano says Wolves will complete the signing of Barcelona full-back Nelson Semedo on Monday. It comes as Barca eye Ajax defender Sergino Dest or Real Betis' Emerson to replace Semedo. Norwich City's Max Aarons has also been linked.

    Milan have made Fiorentina's Nikola Milenkovic their number one defensive target ahead of Celtic centre-back Kristoffer Ajer, reports the Daily Record.

    - Calciomercato claims Juventus are eyeing Real Madrid full-back Marcelo. The Brazilian has been repeatedly linked with a Cristiano Ronaldo reunion in Turin.

    - The Telegraph says PSG are interested in Tottenham's Dele Alli. Out of favour under Jose Mourinho, Spurs are reportedly targeting Manchester United's Jesse Lingard as a replacement.

    Roma remain interested in Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik but Madrid outcast Luka Jovic has emerged as 'Plan B', according to Calciomercato.

    Leeds United are out of the race to sign Dinamo Zagreb sensation Josko Gvardiol, reports Romano. Wanted by Marcelo Bielsa, the Croatian teenager is now set for Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.

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