In the lead-up to the Golden Ball, Sadio Mané let talk about himself. Asked about the Senegalese’s prospects of lifting the Golden Ball trophy next December, the former goalkeeper of Olympique de Marseille and AS Saint-Etienne (France) Joseph-Antoine Bell, nods and avoids any judgements.
Asked by Emedia, the Cameroonian legend and consultant for Africa 24 and RFI gave his opinion on Sadio Mané’s bid for the Golden Ball. For her, it would be better to put an end to individual rewards in a team sport: “I think these are journalists’ questions. Because for me, individual trophies are more intended to animate the public than to really measure anything, football being by definition a team sport, so it is the teams that win. Every time we want to win people, it’s more to satisfy neighbourhood discussions. The important thing to remember is that no one can win the Golden Ball without earning it. If it is only on merit, there will be three or four or five who can deserve it, but since there will only be one who has to do it, there will only be one,” he explained.
Further on in his speech, Joseph-Antoine Bell did not want to judge a continental preference. He wants us to remove the gender colouring to be objective in our choices: “I must admit that I don’t have any for the simple reason that if I said Sadio Mané, it would be like “the African” and I don’t like that. If we want to compete with others, we must stop choosing because he is African, otherwise the South American will choose a South American. I have always claimed personally and for others that we should be judged with the same measure as everyone else and that, as a result, we should remove the partisan colouring of the gender he is an African, I vote for him or that Europeans vote for a European. I think that from the moment we have Africans going to an international competition, it is already the first step, the first success and then we have to accept to be judged with the others and be in balance with them proves our quality and that, for the moment, it suits me insofar as the choice is in any case a little subjective. »