Sadio Mane Ballon d’Or : Sadio Mané finished second in the 2022 Ballon d’Or which was won by French striker Karim Benzema.
Transferred from Liverpool to Bayern Munich last summer, the Senegalese striker (30 years old) still has every reason to believe that he will one day be able to clinch the most prestigious individual award in football.
The example of Karim Benzema, who has won his first Ballon d’Or logically obtained at almost 35 years old, must necessarily trot in a corner of Sadio Mané’s head.
The new Bayern Munich striker, who still has a few good years ahead of him, came close to the podium in 2019, finishing in fourth place.
In 2022, the Senegalese, has still been able to console himself with his 2022 African player of the year award and as well as the Sócrates Trophy.
He was one of the major players on the international scene: he won the Cup and the League Cup with Liverpool, and greatly contributed to Senegal winning the first African Cup of Nations last February in Cameroon, then to qualifying for the World Cup, both times at Egypt’s expense of his Liverpool buddy Mohamed Salah.
We will also remember that he scored 35 goals and delivered a few assists, with an undeniable influence in the game of the Reds and the Teranga Lions.
Sadio Mane Ballon d’Or : Objective: win the Champions League with Bayern Munich
But Sadio Mané won neither the Champions League nor the Premier League, while the Blues striker Karim Benzema won La Liga and the Champions League.
The Senegalese also declared on October 5 that the ex-Lyonnais “ deserved to have the Ballon d’Or ”. He is not the only one to think so, but Mané, who aligns high-level seasons, still has the right to aim for this reward long monopolized by the Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo duo.
In 2023, for example? The deadline is tenable, but the Casamançais knows the conditions: winning the Champions League with Bayern Munich, winning the Bundesliga would be a plus, being a central figure in Bavaria as he was in Merseyside, and incidentally making a good World Cup, since no one is asking Senegal to succeed the French team on the list.
“If Karim Benzema won the Ballon d’Or, it’s because he won titles, with Real and France (the League of Nations, editor’s note), but also because on certain occasions, he really carried his own, especially in the club. He had a huge influence, and not just through the goals he scored. If Liverpool had won the Champions League, Mané could have won the Ballon d’Or, that’s also possible,” insists Dominique Bijotat, Mané’s first coach at FC Metz.
Sadio Mane Ballon d’Or : Play it like Benzema
The 2022-2023 season only started two months ago, and the Senegalese continues to make his mark in Germany. August was promising, September more laborious, but for almost three weeks, Mané has been doing Mané. He went back to scoring (4 goals). Bayern is sure to continue their patch in Champions League and got closer to Union Berlin, unexpected leader of the championship.
“No one doubts his ability to become one of Bayern’s most important players. He has been chaining high-level seasons for years. He had to be given a little time to adapt to his new team, to the system of play, in a more central role than in England,” continued Bijotat.
Bayern are a very presentable candidate for the Cup with big ears. Like so many others, such as Real Madrid, Manchester City, Paris-SG or Liverpool in particular. Mané left a big club for another big club, but also the most publicized championship in the world for another which is a little less.
“I don’t know if this can have an influence or not”, wonders Bijotat, when we know that the last player playing in the Bundesliga to have won it was Matthias Sammer, in 1996, then at Borussia Dortmund.
In summary, Mané will have to finish the 2022-2023 season multi-titled, scorer and multi-recidivist passer, and do better than the (many) competition, of which we will spare you the listing here.
Obviously, we will also closely follow his performances in Qatar during the World Cup (November 20-December 18) with Senegal, presented as the best equipped African team to accomplish an interesting course in the Persian Gulf.
“Compared to Benzema, Mbappé and other players who play in teams that are among the favorites, Mané is necessarily worse off. Senegal has a very good team, but no one is making it a possible world champion,” said former Algerian international Rabah Madjer.
And when awarding a Ballon d’Or, selection counts. Me, I think that if Mané has a very big season with his club and a good World Cup, he can claim it next year. He has all the qualities to become the second African Ballon d’Or in history (after Liberian George Weah in 1995, editor’s note).
This article appeared on Galsenfoot.com in French and was translated into English by GhanaSportsMarket.com
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