Sadio Mane has been talking about his post-season awards snub and it is bad news for everyone else.
It’s safe to say that Mane still has some way to go to win over the people at the top. He did make the shortlist for UEFA’s forward of the year but that was as good as he managed.
Instead, a player who finished as joint-Golden Boot winner in the Premier League, as well as a key member of Liverpool’s Champions League-winning side, mainly watched as others picked up awards.
Mane finished 5th in the voting for UEFA’s Best Player award and wasn’t in the running for FIFA’s equivalent. He didn’t even make the latter’s Team of the Year.
Mane, a £34m signing from Southampton, wants to correct things when it comes to awards going forward, however.
“As I said before, I do not focus on individual distinctions, the collective results are more important to me,” he told Canal+ Sport Afrique.
“The choices were made. I wasn’t chosen, the players in the awards had exceptional seasons, they deserved to be there, I congratulate these players.
“I think it’s a strong message for me to work harder.”
And that is a scary thought for everyone outside of Liverpool. Mane is already on fire this season, scoring eight times, and looking like Liverpool’s best player at times.
But he believes he can – and needs to be – better. If there’s another level to Mane, just waiting to be unlocked, then Liverpool fans are in for a treat.
The Premier League, as well as the cream of Europe, better watch out.