Ballon d’Or: Mane gives one major condition for Benzema to win award

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 08: (THE SUN OUT,THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Sadio Mane of Liverpool at Anfield on August 08, 2021 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool ace, Sadio Mane, has said that he would be happy to see Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema win the Ballon d’Or later this year, but on one major condition.

Benzema has emerged as a leading candidate to win the Ballon d’Or following a stellar season that has seen him fire Real Madrid to another La Liga triumph and to the brink of a 14th Champions League trophy.

His goals in the Champions League this season have already helped the Los Blancos record unlikely victories against Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City and a solid showing in tomorrow’s final against Liverpool would cement his status as the favourite to win the 2022 Ballon d’Or.

But Mane, who has also been tipped to win the Ballon d’Or this year and also played a key role in Liverpool’s treble challenge and Senegal’s emotional maiden success at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), said Benzema should win the prestigious individual award only if Liverpool wins the Champions League on Saturday night in Paris.

Asked by Jamie Carragher for The Telegraph: “If we can sort it so that Karim Benzema gets the Ballon d’Or but you get the Champions League trophy, what would you say?

“I would shake hands on that right now,” Mane replied before adding: “But then I would say it will be even better if I take both the Champions League and the Ballon d’Or!”

He added, “Honestly, it has never been something that bothered me. My dream was always to win a trophy with my national team.

“We had never won the Afcon (African Cup of Nations) before this year. Diouf always said that if he had the choice, he would swap his two African Player of the Year awards for one African Nations Cup.

“That was always the most important trophy. But of course, you dream of the Ballon d’Or, too. It would be a pleasure.”

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