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Ballon d'Or 2021: Mohamed Salah makes his case at Liverpool

Mohamed Salah received a nomination for the 2021 Ballon d’Or on Friday. He’s the only Liverpool player up for the award – so what’s his case?

France Football announced their nominees for the 2021 Ballon d’Or ahead of the weekend. There are 25 names in line for the men’s award, with Mohamed Salah one of them.

So what exactly is the Egyptian’s case?

Salah for 2021 Ballon d’Or?

Salah has had a strange 2021 – but that’s the case for everyone at Liverpool. The year started horrendously, with the Reds struggling for results as their team fell apart around them.

Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez were both out for the season by the start of the year. Joel Matip would follow by the end of January and Jordan Henderson by mid-February. The Reds were in freefall.

Yet, somehow, Salah helped keep them competitive. He was the only Liverpool player who could consistently deliver going forward, scoring nine Premier League goals over the second half of the season.

He also delivered three goals across two FA Cup games – including an unfortunate 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford. Another three came in the Champions League as Salah scored in each leg against RB Leipzig and again against Real Madrid.

Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

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Salah was essentially Liverpool’s saviours. He kept the Reds competitive as they somehow finished third in the Premier League. It was a miraculous season from the 29-year-old and one that deserves praise.

Then came this season. Salah has been on fire to kick off 2021/22, scoring nine goals in nine games, along with three assists. His performance against Manchester City last weekend may well go down as the best attacking display we’ll see this season.

But honestly, Salah might be playing even better than people realise. There’s a ‘best in the world’ shout here.

So can he win it?

Almost certainly not, unfortunately. While Salah’s goals secured a Champions League finish, he just can’t boast the silverware that others can.

Lionel Messi, for instance, performed a miracle job with Barcelona in keeping them competitive. But then he added the Copa America over the summer – Salah can’t really compete with that.

So the Liverpool star undoubtedly deserves his nomination but he’ll fall short this year. Next year, though? If he carries his current form into 2022, Salah might just be in with a shot.

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