The Ballon d’Or must be the aim for Mohamed Salah in 2022, and we think that there are two reasons why.
The Egyptian has had a fantastic start to the Premier League season. He has scored four goals and assisted two more in his first five games.
This has helped the Reds to four wins and a draw so far, and they sit second in the league table based on alphabetical order.
So, all in all, it has been a great start to the season for the Anfield side.
If it continues to go the way it is going, then Salah will be in with a big shout to win the Ballon d’Or. He is one of the finest players on earth, after all.
However, it will be the 2022 edition, rather than 2021.
It is probably too late for a run at this year’s award, as it looks like it will be a throw-up between Leo Messi and Robert Lewandowski.
However, Salah is among the favourites for next year’s Ballon d’Or for two key reasons, in our opinion.
Team trophies should lead to Ballon d’Or for Salah
The Ballon d’Or as a concept is slightly (maybe even more than slightly) flawed, in our opinion.
By right, France Football should be looking solely at individual performances from January 1 to December 31 in the given year.
However, there is a lot of weight given to which teams win the big trophies. There is also not enough attention paid to the latter months of the year.
This attention to the team awards has led to the ludicrous claim that Chelsea and Italy midfielder Jorginho could have a chance of winning this year’s Ballon d’Or.
While that is probably a bizarre shout, it could well help Salah in his case.
For a long time, the Ballon d’Or has been between solely Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Yet, these days, it is a much more even playing field.
So, anyone could win it in 2022.
Salah is going to be Liverpool’s talisman yet again this season.
If he manages to score 25+ goals and help the Reds win the Champions League, then the world player of the year award could be his automatically.
If he does this and also inspires Egypt to win the Africa Cup of Nations that is set to begin in January, then you can be certain that he will win it.
Crucially, he has a big chance of doing both.
Liverpool will be among the favourites to win the Champions League. They are still one of the best sides on earth.
Egypt will not have the strongest squad at AFCON. But Salah is the type of talismanic figure that could single-handedly drag them to the trophy.
Of course, the World Cup will also take place next year. Egypt have little to no chance of winning that, but Salah could well have the award sewn up before it begins.
So, it is a realistic hope for the 29-year-old.
Yes, winning team trophies should be the priority. But a strong Ballon d’Or chase for Salah will likely mean a very successful year for Liverpool as well.