- Sadio Mane describes Lionel Messi voting him to win FIFA The Best was a 'great compliment'
- The Barcelona star clinched the prestigious award after the event
- Messi beat Ronaldo and Van Dijk to clinch the award in Milan some weeks back
Liverpool star Sadio Mane may not have finished among the top three contenders for the 2019 FIFA The Best awards earlier this year, he believes Lionel Messi voting for him was a 'great compliment'.
The Argentine emerged eventual winner of the prestigious prize after beating competition from his arch rival Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk.
Although, Messi's Barcelona were dumped out of last season's Champions League at the semifinal stage with the Reds orchestrating their ouster from the European championship.
Mane inspired his Merseyside armies to conquer Europe after beating fellow Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur at the final in Spain.
Messi didn't hold grudges but voted the Senegalese as one of his top choice to win the award at the end of the event.
The former Southampton man finished fifth behind another colleague Mohamed Salah after all votes had been concluded.
Mane said: "It's a great compliment when Messi votes for you. If you look at where I've come from, it shows I've come quite far. All I can say [to kids] is to keep working hard and go for your dream."
The 27 year old scored 26 goals in 50 matches for Liverpool last season - 22 of those came in the Premier League which helped him share of the Golden Boot with Salah and Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
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His four goals and two assists on the continent played a key role in their triumph at the end of the season - bringing their 11 year title drought to an end.
Meanwhile, both players will return to contend for the 2019 Ballon D'Or, which will be awarded in December.
Messi has won the accolade five times, the same number as Ronaldo, but their decade-long monopoly on the award was ended by Luka Modric last year.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Monaco midfielder Cesc Fabregas was full of praise for Liverpool star Sadio Mane after helping his side beat Red Bull Salzburg 4-3 at Anfield earlier this month.
The Austrian side tried running off with a point in their Champions League encounter before Mohamed Salah's 69th minute strike lifted the hosts above their visitors.
Mane had opened sscoring for the Merseyside just after ninth minute of action having lost their opening match to Napoli in the ninth month.
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