Sadio Mane needs to fire Liverpool FC to silverware to be considered a contender for the Ballon d’Or, according to former Reds midfielder Salif Diao.
The Senegal international has been Liverpool FC’s best player in recent months to help the Merseyside outfit keep their title challenge on track.
Mane has scored 17 times in 29 games in the Premier League to equal Mohamed Salah’s tally in the English top flight in the current campaign.
In fact, the 26-year-old has scored more goals from normal play than any other Premier League player this term.
Mane scored and made an assist in Liverpool FC’s 2-1 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage last time out to keep their hopes of winning the title alive.
The African star has also excelled in Europe after Mane scored twice in Liverpool FC’s 3-1 victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League round of 16 earlier this month.
Mane’s performances have even prompted speculation that Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane wants to bring the Liverpool FC number 10 to The Bernabeu this summer.
Former Liverpool FC midfielder Diao believes Mane needs to win silverware at Anfield to go to the next level and be considered for the Ballon d’OR.
“I think he is up there, but sometimes – whether it is fair or not – the critics are saying he doesn’t score enough goals,” Diao told the Liverpool Echo.
“I think this year he is doing it more.
“Even though this year he is on 20 goals, I think he could have been on 24 or 25 goals if you look at some of the chances he missed at the beginning of the season.
“Of course, if we talk about Ballon d’Or, you talk about trophies and he needs to win trophies. He knows that.
“And whoever plays for Liverpool as well, as a club, they have been starving for years for trophies and now is the right time.
“Mane is on fire, Salah is on fire and now is a good time to bring a trophy back.”
Mane moved to Liverpool FC in a £34m deal from Southampton in the 2016 summer transfer window.
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