Mohamed Salah vs Karim Benzema. That’s the big discussion right now in the ‘best in the world’ debate. So who’s actually playing better?
Mohamed Salah is in the form of his life right now. The Egyptian affects every Liverpool game he plays in, scoring in a record-breaking nine consecutive matches.
We’ve seen the spectacular, too, as Salah embarrassed both Manchester City and Watford in recent weeks.
He may well be the best player in the world right now but there is a rival: Karim Benzema. The Frenchman is starring for Real Madrid at the moment and Thierry Henry recently said he thought his compatriot was playing better.
So who’s actually playing better?
Mohamed Salah vs Karim Benzema
Both Salah and Benzema have featured in eight league games this season – handy for a comparison.
And really, they’re very similar. Benzema has nine goals in his eight games, though, whereas Salah ‘only’ boasts seven. The Real Madrid star has more assists, too, with seven to the Egyptian’s four.
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Though, their ‘expected assists’ is literally identical at 3.3 this season. That suggests Benzema has had the benefit of more clinical teammates for that one.
Salah boasts a slightly higher xG, too, (4.6 to 3.9) though you can take that either way. On the one hand, he’s getting in marginally better positions. On the other, Benzema is finishing better.
Honestly, it’s quite remarkable how similar the two are. Even stats like tackles are almost identical (six for Salah, four for Benzema) and their pressing success rates are within 3%.
Another interesting comparison is ‘points won’. Since the first international break, Salah’s goals and assists have brought six points to Liverpool over the Premier League and Champions League.
Benzema can only boast five points ‘won’ in the same period. Though, the 33-year-old also scored decisive goals in both the Nations League semi-finals and final to win the competition.
Now, Salah obviously didn’t have an opportunity in the Nations League but it does work in Benzema’s favour.
So who’s playing better?
This is ridiculously close and these two are undoubtedly the best-performing players on the planet right now. What they’re doing is sensational and incredibly rare for players not named ‘Cristiano’ or ‘Lionel’.
In complete bias, we’ll go with Salah as he’s got the added bonus of doing impossible things on a weekly basis. It’s one thing scoring goals, it’s another to create them out of absolutely nothing so regularly.
But honestly, a vote for Benzema makes complete sense, too. He’s in unbelievable form as Real’s main man.
We can’t wait to revisit this one in a few months, then. Can these two keep it up all season long? Right now, we don’t see why not.