Madrid: Barcelona star striker Lionel Messi feels it was very unfortunate for Liverpool forward Sadio Mane to finish fourth in the Ballon d'Or vote.
Earlier this week, Messi won the Ballon d'Or award for the world's best player for a record sixth time. Mane finished fourth behind Messi, Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo in the Ballon d'Or vote.
"It's a shame to see Mane finish in fourth place," Messi was quoted as saying by goal.com.
The 32-year-old further admitted that he had voted for the Senegalese in The Best poll.
"But I think there have been a lot of great players this year. That's why it was difficult to choose a particular player. But I chose Sadio Mane (for The Best award) because he's a player that I like," said Messi.
"Mane achieved a great year that was exceptional for the entire Liverpool team. That's why I chose him.
"I repeat, there were a lot of very great players this year, so the choice was difficult," he added.
This was Messi's first Ballon d'Or since 2015 and comes after he scored 54 times for club and country in 2018-19, in which Barcelona won La Liga. Before 2015, the Barcelona forward had won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011 and in 2012.