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Champions League

Sadio Mane ‘most likely’ Premier League star to scoop Ballon d’Or award according to Jamie Carragher

Sadio Mane has been tipped as “most likely” to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or prize, according to former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher.

The Liverpool and Senegal forward has already won three trophies since the turn of the year, helping to fire both his national team and club side to glory.

He won the Africa Cup of Nations in January, the League Cup in February, and most recently the FA Cup in a victory over Chelsea last Saturday.

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As Liverpool’s quadruple chase continues, he could still end the season with five major trophies. The Reds’ have earned a spot in the Champions League final against Real Madrid, and will aim to beat Southampton on Tuesday night to keep their Premier League hopes alive.

If they do, they’ll have to rely on an unlikely slip-up from Manchester City on the final day of the season against Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa to have any chance of a second Premier League title in three years.

Carragher has weighed-in on Mane’s efforts as the forward continues to shine in Jurgen Klopp’s front line.

“It already looks like a shoot-out between Mane and Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema,” Carragher said.

“Since January, the tendency to overlook him while Mohamed Salah grabbed all the attention has slightly changed.

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“If Mane continues his current form he may help inspire Liverpool to four trophies.

He will also be the Premier League’s most likely winner of the 2022 Ballon d’Or.

Carragher admitted that Champions League triumph will have a lot of say in who eventually receives the Ballon d’Or trophy, with Real Madrid’s Benzema still a firm favourite to scoop the award.

“Providing the votes are based solely on football criteria – and there is no guarantee of that based on recent Ballon d’Or winners – it already looks like a shoot-out between Mane and Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema,” he said.

“That means there may be more at stake than a Champions League winners’ medal when they meet in Paris.”

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