Mane was absent from the English Football Critics Association’s nominations for the best player in England for the 2021-2022 season, despite his contributions to his team’s victory in two Cups, as well as holding on to the hope of seizing the Premier League and his role in qualifying for the Champions League final.
On the other hand, his colleague, the Egyptian star Mohamed Salah, was crowned the prestigious Writers Association award for the second time in his career, and Mane was not competing with him, as Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne came second, then West Ham United star Declan Rice third.
In the Premier League Player of the Year award, Mane was also absent from the nominations, while his colleagues Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold, in addition to Bukayo Saka from Arsenal, Son Heung-min from Tottenham, Ward Bruce from Southampton, Jarrod Bowen from West Ham, Joao Cancelo and De Bruyne. from Manchester City.
Why miss Mane?
From the point of view of Senegalese journalist Aliou Faye, his compatriot is providing one of his best seasons in recent years, as he has provided great services to the “Teranga Lions” and Liverpool, who are waiting for a strong position against Real Madrid, a few days later, in the Champions League final.
Faye added in an interview with “Sky News Arabia”: “Mane scored 15 goals in the English Premier League. In the past weeks, he was the most decisive player in Liverpool. He was carrying the team on his shoulders.”
And the Senegalese journalist continued, “Mane scored decisive goals against Manchester City and Aston Villa in the league, and since his return from the African Nations Cup, he is the best in Liverpool.”
He denounced Mane’s exclusion from the Premier League Player of the Season award, adding: “I do not know how he is excluded from the nominations, and a player like Bowen and Saka appears. Certainly Mane comes before them.”
Is he competing for a Ballon d’Or?
On the other hand, the French newspaper “L’Equipe” nominated 4 players to compete with Karim Benzema for the Golden Ball this year, including Mane, in addition to Kylian Mbappe, Kevin De Bruyne and Robert Lewandowski, in the absence of Salah, and many Premier League critics and former stars chose, Mane to compete with Benzema for “Balloon d’Or”.
Englishman Steve McManaman said in an interview with BT Sport that he would choose Mane if he had the right to nominate a player to win the Ballon d’Or.
The former English football star added that Mane’s scoring in the Champions League final, if it happened, would make him an extraordinary candidate to win the award, but at the same time he indicated that Benzema deserves to win the Golden Ball as well.
As for Jimmy Carragher, the former Liverpool defender, he said in an interview with the British newspaper, “The Telegraph”, that Mane is competing with Benzema to win the Golden Ball.
He added, “It’s like a penalty shootout between Benzema and Mane. We’ll see who wins in the end when they meet in the Champions League final.”
But Faye said: “I think Mane will come second in the Ballon d’Or standings behind Benzema.”
And the Senegalese journalist added: “At the present time, Mane is superior to Salah. His victory in the African Nations Cup gives him the advantage, in addition to winning the FA Cup and the FA Cup locally, and his chance to win a historic quartet if Liverpool crowned the Champions League and the League, with a good contribution from Mane, he may get A chance to win the Ballon d’Or.