Continuing with our series on players that are in contention to win the Ballon d’Or and why, the next nominee that we are going to write about is Mohamed Salah. With just two weeks to go before France Football crowns the best player in the world, it is time to evaluate his candidature.
While Lionel Messi is the frontrunner to win the award after bagging FIFA's The Best Men’s Player award, we could be in for a surprise this year and Salah's individual and team success last year make him a definite contender. The other main contenders include his teammate Sadio Mane and five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
Here are three reasons why it could happen…
3. Champions League Glory
First and foremost, winning the Champions League is perhaps the biggest step in getting hold of the Ballon d’Or. The last time a Champions League winner failed to win the Ballon d’Or was in 2013 when Cristiano Ronaldo pipped Franck Ribery to the award.
This year, Mohamed Salah has the advantage of winning Europe’s premier competition over Lionel Messi. He scored five goals in last season’s competition and also had his name on the scoresheet in the final, which eventually helped Liverpool win the competition.
2. Strong Numbers
Not only did he just help Liverpool win the Champions League, he also had a great season overall. He won the Golden Boot for being the joint highest goalscorer in the Premier League and finished the season with 27 goals from 52 games in all competitions.
He has also started this season well, scoring seven goals from 17 matches in all competitions so far. As a result, it would be safe to claim that his personal numbers are just about good enough to push him towards the glory of the Ballon d’Or.
1. Looking the Other Way
Last year was the first time when a player not named Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi won the award in 10 years. Luka Modric broke the duopoly by winning the Ballon d’Or but he is not even in the list of nominations this time around.
While the Croat may not be there, he may have started something that might be continued. The first time is always the hardest and now that it has been done by Modric, voters might continue to look away from the two behemoths of football and give the award to someone else, especially people who experienced team glory at the highest stage.
That way, the award will maintain its newfound unpredictability factor.
While Lionel Messi is the favourite to win the Ballon d'Or, Mohamed Salah could also win it and here are three reasons why...