Liverpool fans adore Mohamed Salah. The “Egyptian King,” as they call him, was instrumental in their 2020 Premier League title victory, ending a title drought at Anfield that stretched back thirty years. He’s now in his fifth season with the club and has thus far scored 134 goals in 212 games in a Liverpool shirt. That’s a goal return of better than one every two games and includes a blistering tally of 44 in 52 during his first season with the club. His Premier League record as of the time of writing is 103 goals in 165 games. That tally also doesn’t take into account the number of assists he lays on for his teammates. Salah has made a mockery of those who once dismissed him as a “one-season wonder” and has become the complete player. Has he gone beyond that, though? Has he become the best player in the world?
Signing Salah back in 2017 was seen as a risk by Liverpool at the time, especially for a fee in excess of £40m. By Liverpool’s standards, that’s a lot. His goalscoring form at Roma was solid but unspectacular, and he’d failed in the Premier League before as a younger man with Chelsea. Liverpool, though, is a club that’s not averse to a gamble. They’re the only club in English football that has its own official online slots game. Even Manchester United – a club known for its sometimes crass commercialism – is yet to venture into online slots. The connection between gambling and football is strong and has been growing for a long time, but Liverpool is the only one that’s gone the whole hog and developed an online slots presence. That’s a team that’s prepared to take a risk – and on this occasion, the £40m risk has undoubtedly paid off. For the best results check onlineslotsuk.com
For the entirety of the past fifteen years, the question “who is the best football player in the world” has been answered only with “Cristiano Ronaldo” or “Lionel Messi.” Both are still playing football at the highest level – Ronaldo back with Manchester United and Messi with PSG. Both probably still consider themselves to be the best in the world, and there would be many fans who would agree with them. Time catches up with everybody, though, and their grip on the crown and domination of the Ballon D’or is slipping. Neither of them is likely to win the prestigious award in 2021. Salah might, and if he does, it could be seen as a genuine changing of the guard. It’s taken Salah until the age of 29 to get there, but there’s an increasing feeling among pundits and fans that he’s the world’s best.
This feeling might currently be confined to England. If you ask football fans (and, indeed, footballers) in the rest of the world, you might get different answers. Fans in Germany will tell you that Robert Lewandowski has been criminally underrated for most of the past decade and has been the best player in the world for the past five years. French fans will undoubtedly point to PSG star Kylian Mbappe, who’s been spoken of as the heir to Messi for the past three seasons. The young Frenchman is undoubtedly good, but it’s impossible to say how good while he continues to play in such a comparatively weak league. Mbappe will have to move to Spain or England if he wants to be taken seriously as the world’s number one – and that will probably happen in the next twelve months. Since the emergence of Erling Haaland at Borussia Dortmund, even Mbappe’s status as the best young player in the world is questionable.
If you want to know why people have started tipping the Egyptian as the world’s greatest, look no further than the recent match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield. Salah scored one of the best goals you’ll ever see in that match, and he did it in a high-stakes game against one of the best teams in the world. It was his ninth goal in nine games so far this season. That wasn’t enough for Salah, though – he also created his strike partner Sadio Mane’s goal. He looks to be every bit as electrifying as he was when he was new to the club, and his early-season form has fired Liverpool to the top of the Premier League. It’s too early to say whether they’ll stay there, but it’s already apparent that they’ll have a much stronger claim to the title than they did throughout their tepid title defence last time around.
Helping Liverpool to win the title again might be crucial in impressing his top-ranked status on football fans in the rest of the world. During his time at Anfield, he’s won the Premier League once and the Champions League once. Liverpool has been one of the greatest clubs in the country during his tenure in England, but not the greatest. Manchester City has consistently been a level above them. A great player should be able to change that, and we may see Salah do precisely that this season. Another victory in Europe should help seal the deal when it comes to individual player awards, too. At the moment, Salah’s backers include former Liverpool stars Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard and lightly-regarded BBC pundits like Chris Sutton. He needs more attention from abroad if he’s to end the Ronaldo-Messi cabal, and winning the Champions League is the best way to do it.
Watching Salah play football thus far this season has been a treat. He’s a player at the peak of his powers, and on his best day, he’s unplayable from a defender’s point of view. Having Ronaldo back in the Premier League makes it possible to compare the performances of the two forwards, and, as great as Ronaldo still is, Salah looks better. Messi’s slow start to life at PSG doesn’t mean he’s lost his step, but there hasn’t yet been a Messi PSG performance that you could put side by side with a Salah Liverpool performance from this season without the Argentinean coming off worst. When it comes to talent, Salah has the edge over everybody else in the world at the moment. He just needs the trophies to prove it.