Virgil van Dijk votes Liverpool teammate as the second best player in world football in 2022
Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Virgil van Dijk votes Liverpool teammate as the second best player in world football in 2022

Virgil van Dijk has voted Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah as being the second best player in the world during 2022.

As the Netherlands captain, Van Dijk was given voting rights for the FIFA The Best awards ceremony last night. And as per FIFA’s released voting list, Virgil opted to stick Mo in with a silver medal.

Unsurprisingly, the Liverpool defender couldn’t look beyond World Cup-winner Lionel Messi as top dog. Coming in third for Van Dijk was Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne.

As Egypt captain, Salah himself was also obliged to pick three players as the best in the world over the last calendar year. Without the possibility of naming himself, Mo went with Vinicius Junior, De Bruyne and PSG defender Achraf Hakimi in respective order.

The only other Liverpool permitted player to submit a voting sheet was Scotland skipper Andy Robertson. Pleasingly, Robbo also included Salah in his top three, slotting the Egyptian King into third place, behind Messi and Kylian Mbappe.

Mo trails behind Sadio once again

As per journalist Fabrizio Romano on Twitter, these votes for Salah didn’t help him all that much in the final standings.

Mo ended up in 14th place overall. No doubt that will be disappointing for the 30-year-old, who holds himself to the highest standards imaginable. But the truth is that Salah is a little lucky to be considered at all.

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

2022 was hardly a vintage year for him on a personal level. Yes, Liverpool went close to winning it all, but Mo himself was poor from the turn of the year onwards.

The Reds No.11 was seemingly exhausted by Egypt’s failure to win the AFCON trophy or qualify for the World Cup. As the goals dried up, Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz jointly took on the mantle of Jurgen Klopp’s chief attacking threat.

This was reflected in the Ballon d’Or voting last year, where Mane finished second, three places above Salah. Last night the gap was even bigger, with Sadio sitting in 6th, eight ahead of Mo.

In truth, Salah has kicked on a little this season, despite Liverpool’s poor form as a whole. But he can be so much better.

With the Ballon d’Or now voted on a season-by-season basis, Mo has no chance of winning it in 2023. As the chances of bagging a big individual trophy slip away from him, does Salah have it in him to go again? Let’s hope so.

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