Mohamed Salah Won't Win Ballon d'Or, But He's the Best Right Now

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Shaun Botterill / Staff

The 2021 Ballon d’Or winner will be named next month after being left vacant last calendar year due to the stoppage of play during the height of COVID-19.

As things stand, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski are heavy betting favorites to capture this year’s award, with Jorginho, Mohamed Salah and N’Golo Kante rounding out the top five.

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Michael Regan/Getty Images

With many expecting Messi to secure his record seventh Ballon d’Or, you’d probably think all the attention in Europe would be on the Argentinian after the incredible 2021 he’s put on display.

After all, Messi did secure his first Copa America trophy with Argentina over the summer after a crucial win over Brazil in the final.

But what about Mohamed Salah?

The Liverpool star has been on an absolute tear to start the new Premier League season, and it’s without exaggeration that he’s the best player in the league and the world at this very moment.

That’s not a slight on Karim Benzema - who has Real Madrid in a very good position in La Liga - or Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich.

Salah has simply been that good for the Reds. In fact, his latest feat came at the weekend during Liverpool’s 5-0 thrashing of Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The main takeaway from the game may have been United’s poor defensive showing or Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s looming departure from United, but Salah also had himself an afternoon after not only bagging a hat trick but doing so by scoring in his 10th consecutive match.

"I'm just trying my best to help the team to win games, to win trophies,” Salah said. “I like to win things with the club. I like the club here a lot, I love the club. 

"I hate the word that we are underdogs or something, who can't win something because of that or that. I'm always saying that we have to win something because we play for Liverpool.”

Salah now has 10 goals and five assists in just nine PL matches, which is a wild concept when put into perspective. Last season, Salah had five assists the entire season, while finishing with 22 goals.

This season, Salah has scored goals against some of Europe’s best sides, including Chelsea, Manchester City, United, Atletico Madrid and AC Milan.

Yes, the Egyptian is capable of incredible feats. We’ve seen this before. His 2017/18 debut season for Liverpool resulted in an all-time achievement when Salah scored 32 goals that season -- a Premier League record over the course of a 38-match season.

At this rate though, Salah is on pace for over 40 goals, which would not only shatter his personal record but would arguably make him one of the greatest scorers ever in English football history.

Salah is one goal away from cracking the PL’s top 25 in terms of goals scored with his 107 scores combined between stints at Chelsea and Liverpool. 

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp spoke recently about where Salah fits in the discussion of the game’s biggest stars.

“Come on, who is better than him?” Klopp said. “We don’t have to talk about what Messi and Ronaldo have done for world football and their dominance but, right now, he is the best.

“His performance was massive. The pass for the first goal was great and the second goal was special. He is top, we all see it.”

The Reds’ star winger may not win the Ballon d’Or this season, but for now, he’s the best player in all of football.

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