If the European media weren’t already in love with Mohamed Salah then they certainly are now.
The Liverpool player put in a majestic performance against AS Roma on Tuesday evening and has taken his standing to another level. Two great goals and a further two assists helped the Premier League club to a 5-2 win, and the margin of victory may have been even higher had Salah stayed on the pitch.
All the European sport newspapers are fulsome in their praise of Salah, with L’Equipe giving him 9/10. They may not sound exceptional, but it certainly is for the French newspaper.
Marca even ask if Salah can dethrone Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win the Ballon d’Or. They have 3 arguments for and 2 against, and the gist is that if Liverpool win the Champions League it’s very possible, depending on what happens at the World Cup.
Spanish journalist Alberto Rubio gives his opinion: ‘Salah always reminded me, saving the distances, of the first Messi, the one that started from the right. Left-footed, electric, skilful… he had a defect: his bad shot. He has more goals than anyone and can win the Champions League. If he succeeds, who will deny him the Ballon d’Or?’
Delfin Melero added: ‘Salah wins the Golden Boot and the Champions League, why can’t he also take the Ballon d’Or? It is true that there is a World Cup and that we do not see Egypt going through the rounds, but if Cristiano and Messi do not get very far, why not? I’m not saying he has to win it, but he could, perfectly.’
Andres Fernandez of Catalan newspaper Sport is clearly impressed: ‘Mohamed Salah signed off at Anfield one of the biggest pages in the history of the Champions League, becoming, at 25, a living legend of Liverpool. Not only did he corroborate a personal dream season, but he’s put the ‘reds’ with a foot and a half in the final of the great European competition ten years after Milan executed their particular ‘vendetta’ for the much-vaunted comeback in Istanbul… The figures he’s reaching this season are from another planet.’
The Catalan media tend to be cautious in their praise of anyone who isn’t a Barcelona player, but even Sport went with a headline saying ‘Salahmessi’ and gave him 10/10.
Mundo Deportivo went with ‘Futbol Salah’ on their front page, a take on ‘Futbal Sala’ which is the Spanish name for Futsal.
This praise is a theme repeated around Europe, and further, and Liverpool’s Egyptian King is taking on a whole new dimension.
Surely it’s time for a pay rise. Whatever he’s paid. Double it. Nah, treble it. And don’t forget that this time any Ballon d’Or clause may not be so fanciful.