Klopp insists Mane can win Ballon d'Or as a Liverpool player
Jurgen Klopp insists Sadio Mane can win the Ballon d'Or as a Liverpool player.
Mane finished fourth in the voting for this year's Ballon d'Or behind winner Lionel Messi, team-mate Virgil van Dijk and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo .
Barcelona captain Messi, who won the award for the sixth time, said it was a "shame" that the 27-year-old didn't finish higher in the final standings after previously voting for him to be Player of the Year at the FIFA Best Awards in September.
Asked if he felt Mane was under-appreciated in the game, Klopp said: “Internally, of course not. Across the world? I am not sure.
“The first three in the Ballon d'Or were Messi, Van Dijk, Cristiano and then Sadio. That is a nice row. Having two players in there shows a lot.
"Mo [Salah] was fifth, Alisson seventh. So we obviously played a good season and they had to respect that.
“Sadio is in incredible shape. Since his first day he was an incredibly important player.
"I remember his goal against Arsenal , running down the line, cutting inside and then with the next step with the left foot in the far corner.
“That was an incredible goal and I can still remember that with all the other goals he scored. Each year he has made big steps and he is on a good way.
"I saw that [Franco] Baresi was really positive about Virgil - one of the biggest defenders I can imagine. This is kind of like being crowned by the king, and as an offensive player if Messi says something like this about Sadio then …
“Sadio especially in the game against Barcelona was really impressive. It was like we had three of him on the pitch and he kept that shape.
"If he stays healthy he will have an incredible career in front of him and he can climb that table Ballon d'Or wise. He is in a very good way and I am really happy for him."