Ba told The Independent: "These days we speak so much about statistics - I believe that he [Mane] had the individual and collective stats to have won the Ballon d'Or.
"I always said if you swap Mane's stats in 2019 with Messi's, Messi still would have won it, even with fewer goals.
"The fact that Mane won the Champions League, the Super Cup, he played an unbelievable season and finished joint top goal-scorer in the Premier League, it's crazy!
"Not only that, he was decisive in all of the games. I believe he could've won it.
"I've had this talk with a lot of players. They say 'yeah, but Messi is a better player'. Of course, everyone knows that!
"Even if Sadio comes and tells me that he's better than Messi, I'd slap him in his face and tell him 'shut up boy, sit down!' But in 2019, in my perspective, he had a better season."