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Mohamed Salah: can the Egyptian win the Ballon d’Or?



Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah. Is he the best player in world football at the moment? Can he become the second-ever African player to win the Ballon d’Or?


Mohamed Salah: can the Egyptian win the Ballon d’Or?

This season’s Premier League has seen the best players in the world take center stage once again, of all these players Salah has recently grabbed the spotlight. The Egyptian has taken the Premier League by storm as he managed to bag 10 goals already in the league and has registered 5 assists in 9 games.

Mohamed Salah is a player that needs no introduction as he has established himself as one of the best Africans to play in the Premier League and this claim could be backed by the fact that Salah has broken several records while playing for Liverpool. Such feats include scoring the most goals in a single campaign whilst also being the highest African scorer in the Premier League. Salah’s career has been fascinating as he has played for several clubs throughout however a move to Liverpool would be a major turning point in his career as he would reach his potential with the Premier League giants.


Salah’s start at Al Mokawloon

Salah’s career started in Al Mokawloon where he made several appearances for the youth squad. His impressive performances for the youth team helped him in being promoted to the senior team at the age of 15. Due to being present in the senior squad at a young age, Salah was put on a special training and diet program as his muscles were not yet fully formed. The Egyptian made his senior team debut against El Mansoura where he came on as a substitute.

After his debut, he would become a regular starter for the team however he struggled to find the back of the net in the beginning. He eventually scored his first goal against Al Ahly in the domestic league. The Egyptian  managed to find the back of the net 12 times in 44 appearances during the remainder of his time with Al Mokawloon.


Salah transfer to Basel

Swiss club FC Basel had kept a watchful eye on Salah as they were impressed with the quality he possessed. They organized a match against Egypt’s U23 squad to see how Salah would perform. The match was played in Basel and the Egyptian side had ultimately grabbed the win as they managed to edge past Basel 4-3. Salah played only in the second half however there was enough time for him to make an instant impact, as he managed to score 2 important goals. Basel were keen on signing the winger and the transfer materialized in 2012. Salah made his official debut in the UEFA Champions League preliminary stage match against Molde and he made his full-time league debut against Thun in the Swiss Super League.

The Egyptian forward made 79 appearances for Basel where he found the back of the net 20 times during his tenure at the club. He got his hands on the Swiss Super League title twice as well as a runners-up medal in the Swiss cup. Salah spent 2 years at the club before making a move to Chelsea in the year 2014.


Salah’s time at Chelsea

Chelsea signed Salah in 2014 for 11 million and his transfer to Stamford Bridge made him the first Egyptian to sign for a London based-club. Salah made his official debut against Newcastle United in the Premier League, coming on as a substitute for Oscar in the last minutes of the game. He started making appearances off the bench and he eventually scored his first goal for his club against Arsenal in the London Derby. His time with the club had seen a good start however as time went by he wouldn’t make regular appearances for the club. Hence a move away from Stamford Bridge was on the cards as he managed to make only 13 appearances for the Premier League giants during his two-year stint at the club.


Salah in Italy

Chelsea were keen on offloading Salah therefore a loan move to Fiorentina materialized for the player. Salah had made his debut against Atalanta in Serie A coming on as a replacement for Joaquin in the second half. He made his full-time debut whilst playing against Sassuolo in Serie A.

The Egyptian forward made 16 appearances for the club finding the back of the net 6 times. Fiorentina was impressed with Salah’s performances and they were looking to sign him permanently however Salah refused it and a permanent move to Fiorentina inevitably fell through.

Salah then completed a loan move back to Italy and this time he signed with AS Roma in 2015. He made his official debut against Hellas Verona in Serie A, and the performances that followed helped him earn a regular spot in the starting eleven. During his loan spell with the Serie A giants, he would make 42 appearances for the club and he scored 15 goals for the team. Roma were delighted with his performances hence they decided to sign him permanently for €15 million.

The Egyptian didn’t take much time to settle down as he immediately made his mark on the game, firing in 19 goals in 31 appearances for the club. During his time at the club he helped Roma to a second placed finish during the Serie A 2016-17 season. The Egyptian also played a crucial role in helping Roma qualify for the 2016-17 Champions League season. His hard work helped him win the club’s 2015-16 player of the season award. Salah’s performances attracted the attention of many clubs as they were looking to sign the forward. One of the clubs interested were Liverpool, who were keen to lure the Egyptian maestro over to Anfield.


Salah moves to Liverpool

In June 2017 Salah agreed to join Liverpool and the club would spend around 37 million to secure his signing. He was the first Egyptian to play for Liverpool when he signed for them. The forward made his official debut against Watford in the Premier League and during his first game, he found the back of the net. Salah started to make an instant impact while playing for Liverpool as he would find the back of the net regularly. His first season with the reds ended with him scoring 32 goals in the Premier League and scoring 10 goals in the Champions League.

In his second spell in England, he won the Premier League golden boot and his performances helped him win personal accolades such as the PFA Players Player of the year 2018, whilst also placing third in the 2018 Best FIFA Men’s Player award. Salah’s career was off to a flying start and going forward things would get better for the Egyptian superstar.

The following season Salah finished as the joint top scorer in the Premier League alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and his teammate Sadio Mane. Liverpool would then go on to win the UEFA Champions League title. Salah managed to score the first goal in the final by converting a penalty kick followed by substitute Divock Origi scoring in the last minutes of the game. His contributions helped Liverpool lift the Champions League title for the 6th time in the club’s history and they would get their hands on the prestigious trophy after waiting for a period of 12 years, as they won the trophy last in 2007.

Salah became regarded as a Liverpool hero given the performances he put up week to week. He would further cement his legacy, helping Liverpool win the 2019-20 Premier League title, therefore, helping the club end their 30-year league title drought.


Ballon d’Or: Can Salah reach the pinnacle of world football?

The Egyptian star, throughout his career, has adapted to different styles of play when playing for different clubs. However in the later stages of his career he turned into a more lethal forward who could score goals in every game. Overall Salah is an exciting attacker who poses a big threat to any opposition defense, he can unlock a team with his blistering pace and dazzling form of trickery. Salah over the years has turned into a mature forward, become accustomed to scoring more than 35 goals a season. The matureness he shows on the pitch has turned him into a ferocious player who can haunt the opposition’s defense throughout the game and the form he currently is in has made him into a future contender to win the Ballon d’Or award.

Several European clubs have kept a tab on the 29-year-old as they are planning to lure him away from Liverpool however the Egyptian has said that he never wants to leave Liverpool as he is happy at the club. This statement made by him squashes all current transfer rumors that are going around. However we don’t know what the future holds, it will be interesting to see which club he could play for in the coming years. Salah has shown the world that he should be recognized as the world’s best given his performances and the stats he has notched under his belt. It will be interesting to see whether he can scoop up the prestigious award as he is already seen by many as the frontrunner for the 2022 Ballon d’Or.


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