Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo both have Ballon d’Or ambitions this year.
The unstoppable duo – who have each scored 44 goals this season – will be going head-to-head in the Champions League final in Kiev on Saturday night.
Salah joined Liverpool from Roma last summer and beat Kevin De Bruyne to the Player of the Year award after an incredible debut season on Merseyside.
“When people talk about Ronaldo and Messi they should also talk about Salah,” said Liverpool teammate Dejan Lovren recently.
“He deserves it, he deserves to be mentioned for the Ballon d’Or.
“At the start of the season I didn’t know he could do this, but you see how he is working, how he wants the ball, he is just a different player to what he was.”
Salah, 25, has been unplayable this season but Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius isn’t getting carried away.
KARIUS ON SALAH V RONALDO
Liverpool’s 24-year-old German stopper was asked about the Ronaldo and Salah comparisons in the build-up to their Champions League showdown.
“This season is unbelievable,” Karius told Sky Germany. “He [Salah] is of course in that region but the biggest difference is Ronaldo did this over so many years.
“It’s too early to put Mo with him.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Mo – he’s world class this season. But Ronaldo showed over so many years to be up there with the best, you have to prove it season over season.
“I hope he can do it. I wish he can do it. He’s still really young and has a lot of space to improve even more.”
Karius is totally spot on – it is far too soon to be comparing Salah to the likes of Ronaldo and Leo Messi.
The 33-year-old Real Madrid forward has won five Ballon d’Or awards and is currently the favourite to win the 2018 edition.
A lot will depend on what happens in the Champions League final, as well as the upcoming 2018 World Cup.
Messi could yet take Argentina to glory in Russia.
Do you agree with Karius? Let us know what you think by dropping a comment below.