Messi, who won the Ballon d’Or for a record sixth time on Monday, was asked at this week’s ceremony why he voted for Mane to win FIFA’s ‘The Best’ award.
“It’s a shame to see Mane finish in fourth place,” Messi told Canal+, per the Metro.
“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 because he’s a player that I like.
“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.”