Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah is enjoying the best season of his career.
Signed from Roma for £36.9m last summer, the 25-year-old Egyptian has scored 43 goals in 47 games for his new club.
Salah scored two and assisted two in Liverpool’s scintillating 5-2 win over Roma in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
There is serious talk that he could be the man to break up Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi’s duopoly of the Ballon d’Or award.
Ronaldo and Messi have, between them, won each of the last 10 Ballon d’Or awards – but many, including teammate Dejan Lovren, believe their period of domination may be coming to an end.
“He [Salah] deserves to be mentioned for the Ballon d’Or,” said Lovren after the first leg against Roma. “When people talk about Messi and Ronaldo they should also talk about Salah.
“He deserves the credit but I think he deserves even more to be honest. 43 goals, guys. F***ng hell.”
GARY NEVILLE WEIGHS IN
Former Manchester United legend Gary Neville shared his opinion on Twitter early on Thursday morning.
Salah has scored more goals than Ronaldo and Messi this season – but Neville believes there can only be one winner for the Ballon d’Or.
— Times Sport (@TimesSport) April 26, 2018
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 26, 2018
His mentions will be full of angry Liverpool fans all day.
Neville played alongside Ronaldo for six years at Old Trafford – and clearly doesn’t think Salah has what it takes to beat him to the individual award.
The Portuguese superstar had a quiet game in Wednesday’s 2-1 win away at Bayern Munich but has been in the form of his life in 2018.
Ronaldo, 33, has scored 26 goals in his last 16 outings for Real Madrid.
Frank Lampard believes Salah can beat Ronaldo and Messi to the Ballon d’Or if he can achieve glory in the Champions League.
“After being named PFA Player of the Year, he can now put himself in the bracket for the Ballon d’Or too,” said Lampard.
“It will be hard for him to break the group that is Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. It will take a lot to do that.
“But if he takes Liverpool to the Champions League title, that could well do it.”
Ultimately, the 2018 Ballon d’Or will come down to what happens in the Champions League and, perhaps more importantly, the World Cup.
Is Neville’s bold prediction going to come true? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.