Mikel makes surprise pick for Ballon d’Or

Nigerian midfielder John Mikel Obi has tipped Liverpool ace, Sadio Mane, to win this year’s Ballon d’Or.

Mane is among the 30-man shortlist for this year’s Europe top individual prize alongside Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo and others.

But Mikel believes the mercurial Senegalese forward has a great shot at winning the coveted prize.

“Mane can win the Golden Ball [Ballon D’ Or], but I think Messi is still on a very different level,” the former Super Eagles captain told beIN SPORTS.

the 32-year-old also dished on why he joined Trabzonspor after his contract expired with Middlesbrough last summer.

He added:

“I chose this place to have a share in Trabzonspor’s successes.

“Trabzonspor’s love for football and the team is indescribable. Onazi and Nwakaeme gave me up-to-date information after I got here.

“The aggression in the Super League is very different from the Premier League. This is a league you have to keep up with.”

Mikel won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, English Premier League twice and three FA Cups during his 11 years at Chelsea before he joined Tianjin TEDA in 2017.

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