The media fall-out from Mo Salah’s injury in the Champions League final last week has been nothing short of sensational.
Salah was forced off through injury a quarter of the way into the game for Liverpool against Real Madrid after a tangle with Sergio Ramos.
With the Egyptian went the Reds’ hopes of a sixth European Cup crown, with the players seemingly drained of confidence.
They went on to lose 3-1 thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and two from Gareth Bale after Sadio Mane levelled the scores in the second half, though Loris Karius’ two howlers obviously had an enormous impact on the outcome.
It turned out that initial fears of Salah having a dislocated shoulder were largely misplaced, as he’s only sprained the joint, and should be fit for the World Cup.
That is all too late for Liverpool fans though, particularly given how they started the game with their star man giving Madrid all kinds of problems.
But the 44-goal winger felt he could not continue, and left the pitch in tears.
And followers of the Anfield club will be even less pleased with what outspoken Evertonian and world champion boxer Tony Bellew has had to say on the matter.
Bellew, who last month brutally dispatched David Haye in their rematch at the O2 Arena in London, was unimpressed by Salah’s inability to carry on and help inspire his team to a victory against the odds.
The Liverpudlian compared the incident to that of Vasyl Lomachenko, who fought against Jorge Linares for eight rounds after tearing his shoulder, and then sensationally securing a knockout victory.
In his column in the Metro, Bellew was critical of Salah, explaining that his decision to go off had a seriously detrimental impact on his team in Kiev.
“It’s unbelievable Vasyl Lomachenko tore his shoulder against Jorge Linares and continued fighting for another eight rounds,” he started. “Mohamed Salah got a bruise on his shoulder and went off in the biggest game of his life.
“That’s no disrespect to Salah, he’s been the best player in the world this year. He should win the Ballon D’Or.
“But ultimately, when you’re going into the biggest game of your life the only way you should be coming off that pitch is on a stretcher.
“Strap it up, stick a needle in it, some painkillers – do whatever needs to be done because if Salah stays on that pitch Liverpool have a 25 per cent more chance of winning that game.”
There’s no way those comments are going to endear Bellew to the Liverpool fan base, though he’s unlikely to be concerned by that.
In fairness, when you look a what Lomachenko went through against Linares, Salah’s injury is miniscule in comparison, and does suggest he could have carried on.
Who knows, if he had just fought through the pain barrier then the Egyptian could have been lifting Europe’s premier trophy last week.