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It's a shame Mane was snubbed for Ballon d'Or - Yaya Toure

By Vincent Ashitey
Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane
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Liverpool's Sadio Mane deserved to win this year's Ballon d'Or, according to former Manchester City and Barcelona star Yaya Toure, who questioned the voting for the award. 

Lionel Messi scooped a record sixth Ballon d'Or earlier in December, edging out Mane's club-mate Virgil van Dijk.

However, Toure believes Mane - who scored 26 goals in all competitions last term as Liverpool finished second in the Premier League and won the Champions League - should have claimed the prize.

READ ALSO:  Samuel Eto’o blames Africans for SadioMane losing Ballon d’Or to Messi 

"To be honest he deserved to win the Ballon d'Or. In Africa we don't see any better players than him," Toure told reporters in Doha, where he is a guest of FIFA at the Club World Cup.

"Did you see the votes, did you see what he did in the last year, how many goals he scored, what he achieved with Liverpool?

"For me it is a shame when a team wins this trophy [the Champions League] and the winner of the Ballon d'Or is not coming from there."

Mane finished fourth in voting with 347 votes, 339 shy of Messi and over 100 short of Cristiano Ronaldo, who finished third. 

Liverpool currently hold a 10-point advantage over Leicester City at the top of the Premier League and are 14 points clear of third-place Manchester City, and Toure acknowledged the Reds - who are unbeaten in the league - would be worthy champions.

"Liverpool are great, they are doing very well and they deserve their position at the moment," he said.

"There is a long way to go but Liverpool are a good side and they look much stronger than last year. The way I see City is their form this year has been quite complicated but, 10 points in front, Liverpool have a good, good chance.

"When you see the league today there are a few teams who are quite disappointing, like Arsenal and a couple of others, but Liverpool have the chance to have the honours this year."

READ ALSO:  SadioMane finishing fourth in Ballon d'Or is shameful - Lionel Messi 

Having overcome Monterrey 2-1 on Wednesday, Liverpool face Flamengo on Saturday in the Club World Cup final.

Upon their return from Qatar, the Reds' next Premier League match is against Leicester City, who are currently their nearest rivals, sitting 10 points shy of top spot.