Lionel Messi could prevent Barcelona sealing Liverpool transfer swoop for Sadio Mane

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge thinks Sadio Mane would have an even bigger problem trying to win the Ballon d’Or if he played on the same side as Lionel Messi.

In a recently released documentary about Mane’s life the Senegalese forward admitted it is his dream to win the Ballon d’Or.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi have dominated the prestigious award for the last 12 years – besides when Luka Modric scooped the gong in 2018.

Mane may feel that his best way of replicating those footballing legends would be to move to either Real Madrid or Barcelona.

But Aldridge believes even if Mane is successful at the Nou Camp he would still be in the shadow of the Argentine magician Messi.

“When things are going well, you just have to enjoy it, and I’m sure Mane has been over the past 18 months,” Aldridge wrote in his column for the Liverpool Echo.

“That said, if players really want to leave, then it’s hard to keep them in the modern era.

“But Mane doesn’t seem the type. Whenever I’ve spoken to him, he seems very humble, and doesn’t seem someone who would agitate for a move like other players such as Fernando Torres.

“And don’t forget, even if the Reds forward moves to Barcelona, for example, he’d still have to overcome Messi.

“Mane can win the Ballon d’Or as he’s a great player. And he has as much chance winning it while at Liverpool than anywhere else.”


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For Liverpool to even contemplate letting Mane leave it would take a figure way over £100m.

The Reds held their own when Barcelona came knocking for Philippe Coutinho and the Brazilian eventually got his move for the heavy sum of £142m.

And Aldridge has warned that the grass is not always greener outside of Anfield.

“Not all who leave Liverpool go on to struggle,” Aldridge added. “Look at Raheem Sterling at Manchester City.

“But Philippe Coutinho is a great example in recent times of where it can go wrong. He was at the pinnacle of his career when he left Liverpool for Barcelona, but it has all since fallen somewhat flat.

“What’s more, Liverpool are a better team than either Barcelona or Real at present.

“Look, I have a lot of feeling for Barcelona in particular. When I played in Spain, I used to love going there and it was a lucky ground for me.

“But the Premier League is the best league in the world – okay, we might not have the best weather! – and Liverpool are one of the clubs on the planet and, of course, are world champions.”

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