Emerging Liverpool sensation Mohamed Salah has declared he must repeat this season’s incredible scoring feats “for many seasons” if he is to earn the same exalted standing as Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
Salah, 25, has scored more than 40 times since last summer’s move from Serie A’s Roma. Such stellar form has seen his name put forward as the player who will break the Ballon d’Or duopoly enjoyed by the legendary aforementioned duo since 2008.
Speaking in a lengthy interview with ON ENT, the hungry Egypt forward insisted such talk was premature and he still has a long way to go.
He said: “I don’t want to say that I am happy with these types of comparisons. This is because each of them was at a top level for 10 or 11 years.
“Their performance level is stable. I need to maintain my performance level for many seasons. I hope I can do so. They are great players and I am happy with the comparison.”
Salah has revelled upon his return to England after a prior miserable association with Chelsea from 2014-16. This included just two goals in 19 appearances, plus loan spells at Fiorentina and Roma.
His love of the Premier League has extended to Fantasy Football, where he is an active competitor.
Salah showed a sense of humour about his dumping of fellow Egypt star Ahmed Hegazi after last month’s coming together in the 2-2 draw at West Bromwich Albion.
“I frequently change players, I feel I have to change players. No-one is permanent in my team, but players I remember are [Ahmed] Hegazi – I sold him after he hit me,” he joked.
Beyond the use of his long-term friend, Salah shows a keen eye for fellow elite attacking talent.
This extended to his fearsome trio at club level, among others.
He said: “[Arsenal and Egypt midfielder Mohamed] Elneny was in my team, but I dismissed him. I chose myself, [Sadio] Mane and [Roberto] Firmino [all from Liverpool].
“I also chose [Jamie] Vardy from Leicester. In the midfield I took [Nemanja] Matic from Manchester [United], plus [Eden] Hazard and [Kevin] De Bruyne.”
Salah’s incredible first campaign could end with victory on May 26 in the Champions League final against Real Madrid.
Salah, 25, looks set to claim top-scoring honours in the 2017/18 Premier League after his summer move from Roma.
Speaking in an interview with ON ENT, he picked out three of his team-mates who he’s grown especially close to during this time.
He said: “As for now, [Dejan] Lovren is closest. As well as [Virgil] Van Dijk and Emre [Can].
“But Emre is now injured, so I wish him a speedy recovery.”
Croatia centre-back Lovren is often pictured on social media channels with Salah.
His friendships with Netherlands centre-back Van Dijk and Germany defensive midfielder Can were less well known.
Mohamed Salah has added to his growing list of honours by being named EA Sports Premier League Player of the Season, the governing body has announced.
The Liverpool forward has already won similar awards from the Professional Footballers’ Association and Football Writers’ Association following a remarkable campaign.
The Egypt international has scored 43 goals in all competitions for Jurgen Klopp’s side since his summer transfer from Roma, helping the Reds to the Champions League final in the process.
Salah, 25, has also been named his club’s Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year.