Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Can Mohamed Salah Pip Cristiano Ronaldo in the Ballon d’Or Race?

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The Egyptian King was rewarded for an already impressive season with the PFA Player of the Year crown this week, topping off an incredible year that could yet bring the biggest success for Mohamed Salah both on personal and club level.  

From a Premier League reject in 2016 the 25-year-old Liverpool star went through a remarkable transformation in just a two-year’s time to climb the top of the chart in front of the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane and David Silva – the Premier League winners with Manchester City.

The Egyptian international has developed into one of the world’s most prolific footballers with 49 goals in 43 appearances for club and country, 41 of which he raked in a Liverpool shirt across all the competitions he took part in – the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League.

With eight goals and two assists in 10 Champions League appearances, Mohamed Salah played a significant part in pushing his club towards the competition’s semi-final. Liverpool host AS Roma in the first leg at Anfield on Tuesday and all eyes will once again be pointed towards Mohamed Salah.

The Egyptian King is taking on his former side and is expected to be a potential difference maker when the Reds lock horns with Giallorossi in what will be a repeat of the 1984 European Cup final which Liverpool won on penalties.

At the very moment in which he will be looking to help his team make a step closer to reaching the final, Mohamed Salah will be reaching out towards another personal recognition this season.

Having already picked up the African Player of the Year earlier in 2018 and with the PFA Player of the Year trophy in the cabinet, the Egyptian is the front-runner for the Golden Boot in the Premier League – holding a five-goal lead in front of Harry Kane.

The 25-year-old needs just one more goal to become the most successful striker in a Premier League season. He is currently on par with Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Alan Shearer on 31 goals in 38 matches and there is every chance Salah will soon break the record.

More importantly, however, the Liverpool superstar has joined the likes of Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the Ballon d’Or race.

Salah’s individual brilliance and the ability to create something out of nothing got him compared with Leo Messi. In a comparison with the Barcelona man, Mohamed Salah is using the similar style of play to pierce through and score – while also freeing up Sadio mane and Roberto Firmino up as well. A genuine team player is remarkably doing it all with commendable humility.

The main force of Liverpool’s front three, Mohamed Salah actually overtook the Argentine wizard in the Ballon d’Or race and currently stands just one step behind Cristiano Ronaldo with 7/4 odds next to his name. The Portuguese forward is given 1/1 betting odds to claim the coveted prize thanks to his own scoring exploits – especially in the Champions League where the 33-year-old bagged incredible 15 goals in 10 games.

The two of them could go head to head in the Champions League final if their clubs manage to overcome the last hurdle and there is no doubt that a Kyiv final between Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah would provide the ultimate answer on who will win the prestigious accolade.

Much will, of course, depend on the 2018 FIFA World Cup where Salah and Ronaldo are expected to play leading roles for their respective countries but many claim that Ballon d’Or is a two-horse race between Ronaldo and Salah which could get a symbolic closure on 26 May 2018.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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RJ3
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Amazing year. Salah is like an Egyptian Magician who can make moves in a phone both, not unlike Messi… So no, I am not saying he’s Messi and don’t want to trigger people into a fit by saying he’s on that level–but yes, I am saying there are similarities. He’s a precision telepathic passer too. Klopp probably tells the team, and they are aware of it by now, to never assume that the second Salah gets the ball, that it wont be redirected to you no matter where you’re at. Be ready to strike.

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