Mane had a sensational season winning the Golden Boot in the Premier League and lifting the Champions League with Jurgen Klopp's side.
Asked if it's the winger's time to receive the Ballon d'Or, Cisse told Goal: “Why not? He has worked hard not only in the last year but since 2011, where I've known him to have great discipline and high professionalism. I followed him from his time in Austria and Southampton until he arrived at Liverpool.
“What he has achieved this year is a result of great effort over many years and winning the AFCON will be an extension of those efforts. It will take him a step closer to the Golden Ball, which I think he deserves to win
“I've tried to help him as best I can but more importantly, he has self-confidence and he managed to recover quickly. What's happened [the criticisms] has motivated him to respond to everyone and I think he's succeeded in doing that."