Cheikhou Kouyate believes international teammate Sadio Mane was overlooked for the Ballon d’Or because he is African.
Mane finished in fourth in the running for the prestigious prize behind Lionel Messi, Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo .
The 27-year-old has enjoyed a fine 2019, scoring 54 goals for club and country last term as he helped Liverpool to the Champions League.
Mane also led Senegal to second place at AFCON and Kouyate insists his teammate would have landed the award had he not been African.
Crystal Palace midfielder Kouyate told Mirror Sport: “For me this Ballon D’or is for Sadio Mane, there is no doubt about that.
“Listen, if Sadio was a Brazilian or a European there would not have been no debate.
By: Rahman Osman
Photo Credit: AFP via Getty Images