Liverpool's Mohamed Salah tipped to end Ballon d'Or duopoly and become second African winner
Posted: 16 April 2018 Time: 16:30
Liverpool top-scorer Mohamed Salah has been tipped to challenge the Ballon d'Or dominance held by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the past decade.
The most coveted individual accolade in European football has been shared by Real Madrid's Ronaldo and FC Barcelona's Messi with five awards each since 2008.
But Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler believes the current European Golden Shoe leader Mohamed Salah has the ability to challenge the status quo and become only the second African to win the title after George Weah did it with AC Milan in 1995.
Salah has scored an incredible 41 goals and registered 10 assists in 46 games for the UEFA Champions League semi-finalists this season.
"I'm putting on the tin hat before suggesting this but Mo Salah surely deserves to be in the running for the Ballon d'Or," he told the Daily Mail. "I'm not saying he's going to win it, in fact, I'm pretty sure he won't the way the whole thing is structured.
"But I am saying – passionately - that it's time to look beyond the almost knee-jerk leaning towards Ronaldo or Messi. Don't get me wrong, they are two of the greatest players the game has ever seen.
"People get misty-eyed over the pair of them, and quite rightly. They have both had good years, and with a World Cup, both have the chance for a outstanding one. Yet so far, Salah has matched them, no doubt," the former England striker added.
"He's probably got more chance of winning the Best FIFA Men's Player award because that is in part selected by international coaches. The Ballon d'Or votes are by journalists.
"Even if you put what Mo has done at Liverpool to one side, he's been astonishing. He has gone from being an exciting, quality player, to a truly world-class one for Jurgen Klopp."