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Ballon d’Or

Wenger Names His Ballon d'Or Favourite, Snubs Messi & CR7

Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed who he would name as this year's Ballon d’Or winner, and it is neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor Lionel Messi.

Read: CR7 Among First Ballon d'Or Nominees, Neymar & Last Year's Winner Snubbed!

The 30-man shortlist for this year’s Golden Ball was announced on Monday, with the winner set to be named on 2 December.

Messi, Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk are the favourites to lift the prestigious award this year, but Wenger, who is currently without a club, believes Sadio Mane was the best player in 2019.

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"Mane was the outstanding character," he told beIN SPORTS.

"I would say – because he is a fighter… and efficient. He's not scared of anybody. At the moment, he deserves huge credit."

Mane is one of five African stars on the 30-man shortlist, the others being Mohamed Salah, Kalidou Koulibaly, Riyad Mahrez and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Read: Nominees For Ballon d'Or Revealed – Part 2

So far, though, George Weah is the only African player to have lifted the coveted Golden Ball, which is based on performances throughout the calendar year.

Do you think Mane has a chance to beat Messi, Ronaldo and Van Dijk to the 2019 Ballon d'Or? Have your say in the comments section below.

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