Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has voted former Liverpool player Sadio Mane as the second best in the world.
As England captain, Kane was permitted to name his three best players of 2022 for FIFA’s annual The Best awards last night.
And as per the voting results released by FIFA, the Spurs icon is clearly a huge Mane fan. Slotting the 30-year-old in as his runner-up, Kane had him ahead of Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, who could only claim third-place.
Even Mane couldn’t match World Cup-winning captain Lionel Messi, though. In what was a seminal year for Messi, the PSG man romped home, with Kane’s help.
With voting encompassing the whole of 2022, Mane’s final six months at Liverpool are taken into account. Kane wasn’t the only one impressed with his performances, as the Senegal forward finished in sixth place overall.
Mane greatness recognised by Africa
Somewhat surprisingly, none of the three Liverpool players permitted to vote included Mane in their top three’s.
Both Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson went with Mohamed Salah in their lists, while Salah himself included none of his Liverpool teammates.
Given that Mane is a former colleague and Mo is a current one, perhaps that shouldn’t be a surprise at all. But with three votes to give, and Sadio being a star performer too, you’d have thought they might include him.
Alas, they did not. As it turns out, plenty of others did, though. Including Kane, 20 captains of their country’s voted Mane into their top three’s.
Delving a little deep, however, and England aside, these votes were exclusively from African countries. No shock that the holding African Player of the Year should be recognised by his peers on the continent.
Another 20 head coach’s voted Mane as one of the top three players in the world. Again, all from Africa.
As a result, that makes Kane’s vote a little bit of an outlier. Given that Mane finished second in last year’s Ballon d’Or just a few months ago, that is a bit of a surprise. Had Liverpool’s former No.10 been fit to play at the World Cup, perhaps things would have been different. Still, sixth is a finish to be proud of in a great year for the Reds legend. Congrats, Sadio!
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