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Thursday, November 30, 2023

José Enrique lambasts Ballon d’Or for Mo Salah’s ranking

The decision to place Mo Salah seventh at the Ballon d'Or awards 2021 has come as a shock to many. Since last season, the Egyptian talisman had performed exceptionally for an underperforming Liverpool team.

José Enrique Liverpool’s ex-left-back has branded the Anfield talisman, Mo Salah’s ranking at the Ballon d’Or a “Joke.”

Salah placed seventh

Talking to a sports news outlet, the ex-Liverpool player said that it was in no way just to place Mo Salah, who had scored 31 goals in the last year’s campaign, in seventh place.

He said that Salah had carried a struggling Liverpool’s season last year. He added that the Egyptian maestro had been immense during a tough stint for the club, being pivotal to it placing 3rd in the Premier League while underperforming in many sectors. He further stated that the club would’ve struggled to reach the top 6 if it was not for Salah’s performances.

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The Ballon d’Or, widely considered the highest individual accolade in world football, is an annual award presented by France Football, a French news magazine, to the best player of the previous year.

The 2021 Ballon d’Or saw Lionel Messi narrowly clinch the best player award, with Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski finishing second. Though many have agreed with the record-breaking seventh time winning Messi’s placement at the top, Mo Salah ranking seventh hasn’t settled well with many of the award’s critics.

Mo Salah, 29, who plays as a forward for English Premier League’s Liverpool FC, has consistently been recognized as one of the best players in world football from the past few years. Hence, it is no surprise that many expressed their shock at the low placement of the Egyptian talisman.

Reaction to the decision

Liverpool’s manager Jurgen Klopp too, couldn’t keep himself from expressing his surprise at his winger’s placement with Liverpool legend John Barnes also blasting the controversial decision.

Nicknamed the “Egyptian King,” by his fans, Salah has downplayed the significance of the placement to him.

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The player talking to an Egyptian Broadcaster said that this was just people’s opinions, and he doesn’t let these personal awards define him. Going on further, Salah said that in his mind, he considers himself the best player in the world, and that’s the only thing that matters.

The Liverpool star has had a scintillating start to this year’s season as well, scoring nineteen goals in 19 games so far this season. Moreover, he has also scored 12 goals and seven assists in his last 12 Premier League appearances.