As Liverpool forward Sadio Mane prepares for his imminent transfer to Bayern Munich, Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira believes he should be considered for the Ballon d’Or.
The former Arsenal midfielder believes that Mane is part of the “new generation of attackers” and has shown why he deserves to be a Ballon d’Or contender.
Mane has gone somewhat under the radar this season due to the performances of golden boot winner, Mohamed Salah, plus the arrivals of Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz has shifted the attention towards them.
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However, the Senegalese forward this season was involved in 18 goals in 36 Premier League games and also scored five goals in the Champions League.
Mane and his Liverpool team were on the brink of making history with a quadruple, which only would have consolidated Vieira’s claims of a potential Ballon d’Or nomination.
Vieira said: “Sadio Mane is part of the new generation of attackers who knows how to do everything.
"He scores goals, he knows how to defend, he knows how to run in depth. He is a hard worker in the field. He is one of the modern attackers. For me, he should be considered for the Ballon d'Or.
“He is one of those great players who can win it. I saw him every weekend in the Premier League and for me he is one of the great European strikers.”
The Crystal Palace boss also commented on Mane’s uncertain future at Liverpool and believes that he will make the right decision for himself in the end.
“I think he has his head on his shoulders to make the best decision." Vieira added.
"Should he stay or go? It's up to him to make that decision. But he is a player that I admire in relation to his talent as a footballer, but also in relation to his talent as a man."
Karim Benzema is currently the outstanding favourite for the Ballon d'Or.
Benzema got his hands on a La Liga title and his fifth Champions League, along with 15 goals in this seasons European competition including crucial goals against Paris Saint Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City.
Mane now does look set for a move to Bayern Munich with an agreement on personal terms with the Bavarian club, as he looks set to end his six-year stay in Merseyside.
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