Hail the King.
Mo Salah is the greatest footballer to grace a football pitch … this season. The Egyptian has 42 goals in all competitions for his club side. He is on the verge of taking Liverpool to their first Champions League final since 2006-07, which they lost 2-1 to AC Milan, and he’s doing it in style. Liverpool destroyed AS Roma 5-2 yesterday and Salah had two goals and two assists. His goals were world class; the first probably in the top five of Champions League goals this year.
Salah was recently compared to Lionel Messi and there was uproar due to what some people referred to as blasphemy. I think it’s a completely valid comparison. Both players have majestic left foots. Both players can single handily win a football match. Both players are humble ambassadors of the beautiful game. The one thing Salah has done which Messi has not is dominate the Premier League and Champions League in the same season. I understand that Liverpool, unlike Barcelona, weren’t crowned League Champions but let’s be honest, La Liga far inferior to the English top flight not to mention that they have a one-month winter break to recharge. It’s a constant repetition of two clubs exchanging titles with a rude compatriot jumping on the middle of the see-saw to balance everything out occasionally.
If Liverpool go on to win the Champions League, will it launch Salah into superstardom joining the likes of Messi and Ronaldo as the greatest of a generation? Remember he’s only 25 years old whereas Messi and Ronaldo are 30 and 33 respectively. If Salah continues on this pace for the next five years and adds trophies to his cabinet, I see no reason why he shouldn’t be part of the ‘greatest of all time’ discussion.
Since Pele predicted that an African nation would win the World Cup before the year 2000, we’ve all be waiting with bated breath yet not one nation has managed to even progress to the quarter-finals. Could Mo Salah surpass African legends such as Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto'o and take Egypt to a quarter-final birth? What will that do for his status?
Our sport can be very unfair when comparing talent. Messi and Ronaldo are rightly regarded as the greatest players of a generation, but they’ve also played on the greatest teams in their era. The Egyptian wonder is performing miracles with a Liverpool squad who lost their ‘best’ player in Philippe Coutinho, boast zero world class players and include a train wreck of a goalkeeper. On the international level, Salah hails from a country ranked 46 in the world behind minnows such as Australia, Montenegro and Congo! At the very least, he should be in the discussion for World player of the year in 2018.
John Henry originally baulked at having to pay £39 million to Roma for Mohamed Salah. He must be laughing all the way to the bank now.
See you in Kiev, Mo.