Manchester United legend Roy Keane has claimed that Mohamed Salah can’t be considered as a Ballon d’Or contender unless he has a trophy to back his goals tally.
As reported by The Sun, Roy Keane has had his say on calls for Mohamed Salah to be in contention to win the Ballon d’Or this year. The Manchester United legend has claimed that the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are still on another level to the Liverpool talisman.
Salah has taken the Premier League by storm on his second coming to England, having previously represented Chelsea, albeit without achieving much personal success. A two-year stint in Italy though, seems to have revitalised the player, who has been one of the most prolific forwards in Europe upon joining Liverpool last summer.
Having quickly established himself as a vital cog in attack for Jurgen Klopp & co., the player has produced truly staggering numbers this season. In 47 appearances across all competitions for Liverpool, Salah has bagged 43 goals and 15 assists to be one of the most prolific contributors to a goal in Europe.
His blistering performances have already seen him win the PFA Player of the Year, with more honours likely to follow. Earlier this week, Salah was also one of the best performers for Liverpool, who thrashed his former side AS Roma 5-2 in the Champions League semi-final first leg.
The aforementioned outing has substantially increased calls for Salah to at least be a contender to win the Ballon d’Or, if not win the big prize altogether. But, Manchester United legend, Roy Keane has opined that the 25-year-old needs to have a trophy to back his incredible personal record to be talked about in the same breath as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
“He’s obviously rightly nominated for the big awards. But I always look at the strikers who are playing well, the Ronaldo’s and the Messi’s. They’ve both scored 40 goals at least this season and I still think you have to end up with one or two trophies at the end of the season for your club.”
“Part of my make-up when I was playing was when your strikers are scoring 25-30 goals a season that’s fine, but you have to win trophies. If they can win the Champions League and he scores in the final, then yeah, start handing out the awards. But he still has to do a bit more for me at club level.”
Indeed, while Lionel Messi looks set to lift the La Liga title with Barcelona, having already won the Copa del Rey, Ronaldo is in the running to win a third successive – and fifth overall – Champions League. Should Salah go on to lift the Champions League trophy with Liverpool instead, and perform admirably at the World Cup, he could well become the favourite to win the Ballon d’Or.
His stock is already pretty high, with Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard hailing him as the best player in the world, and it remains to be seen if Salah indeed goes on to become the first player other Ronaldo and Messi since Kaka to win the big prize later this year.