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Why Mohamed Salah is a Ballon d’Or contender

Jul 30, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; Liverpool FC fans cheer before a game between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With a lot of hype surrounding Liverpool and especially their star man Mohamed Salah, much praise has been heaped on the Egyptian attacker. Earlier on in the season many criticized Salah as a dangerous player who got into great positions in the final third but lacked end product. He seemed to be a player that was just missing a clinical nature to his game. He had pace, great movement, and the ability for both close control and to drive at defenses with his dribbling, but although he scored many goals, he missed many chances too. As a result, many believed his goalscoring form would drop and yet Salah continues to prove those doubters wrong. After his troubled period with Chelsea where he didn’t have the time to find his feet or enough minutes on the pitch to show his abilities, he has come back to the Premier League with a bang.

With 43 goals this season, the Egyptian leads the scoring charts not only in the Premier League, but in all competitions together. His nearest rivals are Cristiano Ronaldo with 42, Ciro Immobile with 41, and Lionel Messi with 40. This remarkable season in which Salah is in the form of his life has gotten fans and pundits alike proclaiming he is the best in the world at the moment. A couple of months ago people were merely comparing Salah to Messi as they can both dribble very well and are predominately left footed, but there are now calls that he is better. Whether or not that is all true is debatable, but the fact these claims are being made just go to show what an incredible season Salah is having.

After another wonderful performance in the Champions League with two beautiful goals and two assists, Liverpool have taken the lead in their two legs against Roma 5-2. They are firm favorites to make it to the final, barring another crazy come back from the Roman side, where it currently appears their opponents will be Real Madrid who beat Bayern Munich 2-1 at the Allianz Arena. If that were to be the case, the two-time defending European Champions would be the favorites to win, but with Liverpool’s front three anything can happen. If Salah can lead Liverpool to the Champions League crown, he must certainly have a chance at winning the Ballon d’Or. Given his scoring record alone should put him in with a shout for the individual honor, but victory in Europe’s most prestigious club competition has to play a large factor.

In addition, with the World Cup quickly approaching, Mohamed Salah has another stage to show his talent on the world stage. In a group containing hosts Russia, Uruguay, and Saudi Arabia, Egypt certainly has a chance to get out of the group. If Egypt do manage to get out of the group they’d likely play against either Portugal if they top the group or Argentina of they finish second assuming Spain top their group and Portugal goes second or if Argentina do indeed top their group as they are expected to. If Salah can lead his country to the quarter finals, his stock who only rise higher than even now.

Although the Ballon d’Or has bene dominated by Messi and Ronaldo for such a long period of time, if anyone has a chance to break their stranglehold on the award, its Mo Salah.