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.
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.
"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.
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.