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Jurgen Klopp tells Sadio Mane what he must do with Liverpool to win Ballon d’Or

Jurgen Klopp tells Sadio Mane what he must do with Liverpool to win Ballon d’Or

Jurgen Klopp has downplayed speculation about Sadio Mane winning the Ballon d’Or, stating that Liverpool must first win the Champions League.

And Klopp revealed the tactical change that has allowed Mane to flourish as a center-forward since the turn of the year.

The Senegal international scored his 20th goal of the season in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Villarreal.

Under Klopp, the Reds are currently within striking distance of a third European Cup final in five seasons.

Mane has recently been on a roll. He has six goals in a prolific April, including three against Manchester City, to keep Liverpool in contention for an unprecedented quadruple.

When asked about the forward’s claims for the Ballon d’Or in 2022, Klopp stated that his “outstanding” No.10 would most likely need to win the European Cup with the Reds before that talk became a feasible one.

“Mane has had an outstanding season and is an outstanding player,” Klopp said. “I have nothing to do with the Ballon d’Or nominations. I don’t understand it 100%.

“He is world class. He again played a really good game for us but I don’t know how I can answer with the season not even over.

“Historically we have to win something to win the Ballon d’Or, most of the time it was like this. If you’re not Messi or Ronaldo you have to probably win the Champions League, which we haven’t done yet.

“Give us a few more weeks and we will see where we end up. Sadio wants to contribute, he wants to help the team and that’s what I love most about it.”

Klopp, who has been a prominent figure since the signing of Luis Diaz at the end of January, added: “Why Sadio? I think that’s obvious, it’s because he is doing really well. I like him playing there. He can play left and central, both positions, world class.

“He was world class on the right wing as well, you’ll remember his first goal at Arsenal when he cut inside and fired left foot into the top corner. This is a good alternative.

“But I love Diogo Jota in the centre and Bobby (Roberto Firmino) in the centre and Sadio on the left. We should not be that fixed. We are looking at different ways Sadio plays, sometimes we want him to drop a little bit more, today we wanted him to be more stable between the centre-halves, keep them away and offer the runs in behind.

“It’s all no secret because you can watch it back and you’ll see it anyway, but he has the skillset for it. That’s the reason 100%.”

On Naby Keita, Klopp stated that the Guinea international was having his “best season” since joining Liverpool from RB Leipzig in the summer of 2018.

“Naby is having his best season because he is for the longest period fit and that is good for us and good for him,” Klopp said. “It was always clear he is an outstanding player and even other seasons when he was not that consistent he played incredible games.

“Watch our big games and you will realise how often Naby was on the pitch for them. It’s a very good moment for him.”


Jurgen Klopp tells Sadio Mane what he must do with Liverpool to win Ballon d’Or

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