France Football announced this year’s Ballon d’Or winners at a lavish ceremony held in Paris, France on December 2, 2019. Lionel Messi won the award for a record sixth time in his career, beating the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo. However, the Ballon d’Or ranking has made some fans believe that the jury were being racist.
The Ballon d’Or judges have been accused of racism. Some fans have taken Liverpool forward Sadio Mane's side, after the Senegalese International finished fourth in this year’s ranking. Sadio Mane was phenomenal last season, winning the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup with Liverpool. Former Senegalese player Beye has accused the judges of ignoring Mane’s performance because he was African.
While speaking to Canal+, Beye stated that Messi is one of the greatest players in the history of football. However, he did not have a great campaign last season. He could not save his team from being knocked out in the Champions League. Beye also said that Sadio Mane was African and that was the only reason why he was placed fourth in the ranking.
Sadio Mane was behind Lionel Messi, Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo in the rankings. He scored a total of 26 goals, with five assists across all competitions last season. While Messi had scored 51 goals in 50 games last year. However, Beye still insists that Mane’s ranking behind Van Dijk was a scandal. He claimed that Mane should have won the Ballon d’Or after his form last season.
National team coaches, captains and one journalist from each country are authorised to vote for their top picks. Unsurprisingly, Senegal's journalist Allou Goloko from AllAfrica network voted for Sadio Mane as his top choice to win the Ballon d’Or, followed by Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah, Kalidou Koulibaly and Virgil Van Dijk.