Sadio Mane was reportedly upset after Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp backed Virgil van Dijk for winning the 2018-19 Ballon d'Or trophy. Reports in France suggest that Jurgen Klopp's actions "left a bitter taste" for Sadio Mane. Sadio Mane played a significant role in Liverpool's Champions League triumph in 2018-19 season, in which the Reds won their sixth Champions League title. The Senegal skipper scored a total of 26 goals that season to help his side to glory. However, in the same season, Virgil Van Dijk established a name for himself as a colossus of a defender and was viewed by fans and pundits as the best defender in the world that season.
Lionel Messi was crowned as the winner as Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane were placed second and fourth. Cristiano Ronaldo took the third spot. However, Jurgen Klopp expected Virgil Van Dijk to win the award, who also won the PFA Player of the Year that season. According to France Football, Sadio Mane was left upset with the fact that Jurgen Klopp was more inclined towards Virgil van Dijk picking up the Ballon d'Or. This comes after Jurgen Klopp claimed back in December that 'it would have been right' if Virgil van Dijk would have won the Ballon d'Or.
"Last season I cannot remember a more impressive season from a defender ever. Honestly. So it would have been right if Virg won it." Jurgen Klopp was quoted as saying in an interview. Sadio Mane could have been just the second African footballer to win a Ballon d'Or award after George Weah. Speaking after his win, Lionel Messi reportedly said that it was a "shame" that Sadio Mane finished fourth on the winner's list.