The 2017/18 season ended in disappointment for Mohamed Salah, who was forced off with an injury in the Champions League final. Liverpool’s hopes of winning the trophy went with him and his importance to the team was keenly felt from that moment onwards.
However, nothing can detract from what has been a tremendous debut season for Liverpool, in both the Premier League and Champions League.
Salah has been a delight to watch and enthralled fans across the globe with his pace, trickery and deadly finishing. The Egyptian finished the season as the Premier League top scorer, netting 32 times and breaking the record for the number of goals in a 38 game season.
Salah also won several other awards this season, including the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year, Premier League Player of the Season, Professional Footballers’ Association Players’ Player of the Year, Liverpool FC Fans’ Player of the Year and Liverpool FC Players’ Player of the Year.
While Salah did not win any silverware with Liverpool, the list of personal awards seems to be never ending and the former Roma man has his eye on another individual honour.
The Ballon d’Or is an annual football award presented by France Football, a weekly football magazine published in France. The award has been in existence since 1954 and the world’s greatest players have lifted the trophy.
Alfredo Di Stefano, Lev Yashin, Eusebio, Bobby Charlton and George Best are just some of the top players who have won the Ballon d’Or.
In recent times, the award has been dominated by two men. Since 2008, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the only two players who have won the Ballon d’Or. Their greatness has spanned a decade and no one can deny their place as two of the best players we have ever seen in the game.
However, Salah could be about to step in stop the party and yet again make history.
If Salah was to win the award, he would become the first Egyptian player to win the Ballon d’Or. He would also become only the second African player to feature in the top three, following on from George Weah of Liberia, who win the award in 1995 while at AC Milan.
Salah would be the first player from the Premier League since 2008 to win the Ballon d’Or and even is he fails to move ahead of Ronaldo and Messi in the pecking order, a third place finish would be the first for an English based player in ten years.
What happened in the Champions League final may have put a dent in Salah’s chances of winning the Ballon d’Or 2018 but no one can deny he deserves his place alongside Ronaldo and Messi in the top three.