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Jurgen Klopp Decision That upset Sadio Mane and prompted Lionel Messi to speak out



Jurgen Klopp Decision That upset Sadio Mane and prompted Lionel Messi to speak out 3 Sportelo

Jurgen Klopp Decision That upset Sadio Mane and prompted Lionel Messi to speak out

The manager of Liverpool previously endorsed Virgil van Dijk over Sadio Mane for the Ballon d’Or, and the Senegal international did not take it well.

At Anfield for six illustrious years, Mane won every major club competition trophy, including the Champions League and Liverpool’s first league championship in 30 years.

The Senegal international is revered as a legend in the red half of Merseyside just for that reason, but a reunion still appears impossible.

Jurgen Klopp Decision That upset Sadio Mane and prompted Lionel Messi to speak out 4 Sportelo

Jurgen Klopp and the forward haven’t always gotten along without some conflict. The Liverpool manager was once blamed for Mane’s departure and was accused of showing the former Southampton star a “lack of love” by former Red and fellow Senegal star Salif Diao.

Jurgen Klopp couldn’t resist making point to ex-Liverpool star in Anfield tunnel
However, the more surprising turning point in their relationship actually stemmed from the 2019 Ballon d’Or.

Though it was won by Lionel Messi, Klopp publicly backed the idea of Virgil van Dijk taking home the award, over Mane who was also nominated for the gong.

The Liverpool boss claimed: “Things like this are decisions made by journalists. I see it slightly different and a lot of people see it slightly different but that’s absolutely no problem.

” Lionel Messi, I’ve said probably 500,000 times in my life already, is probably the best player I saw in my lifetime. Very early in my life, I saw Franz Beckenbauer and Diego Maradona but I’ve seen Lionel Messi more.

“I don’t know how the others would have played nowadays – probably exceptional – but Lionel Messi is here now and he has won it six times and Cristiano [Ronaldo] five times but last season I cannot remember a more impressive season from a defender ever. Honestly. So it would have been right if Virg won it.”

According to France Football, Klopp’s comments ‘upset’ Mane, who clearly felt scorned by the fact his manager had opted to heap praise on his teammate but not him.

Though Mane may have been left sore over the comments from Klopp, he’ll have surely been heartened by those who came to his defence and issued a public vote of confidence in the forward.

None other than Messi himself, who admitted he’d have liked to have seen Mane given more credit than just a fourth-placed finish.

“It’s a shame to see Mane finish in fourth place,” Messi told Canal+ after taking home the top prize ahead of Van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“But I think there have been a lot of great players this year. That’s why it was difficult to choose a particular player. But I chose Sadio Mane because he’s a player that I like.

“Mane achieved a great year that was exceptional for the entire Liverpool team. That’s why I chose him.”

Klopp has spoken at length over the way Mane left Liverpool and despite the rumoured ill-feeling between the pair after the German’s Ballon d’Or related remarks, he insists the pair parted ways in good faith three years on from the controversy.

“The way it went was great. We knew that he would do something different without breaking up badly. That must be possible in life.

“That’s exactly what happened. Are we missing him? Yes! But I’m happy too. That he’s where he wanted to be. We’ll solve our problems here. Sadio is an outstanding player. Everyone in Munich saw that too. He’s absolutely world-class. Everything will be fine.”