Who would’ve thought that one day a 25-year-old Egyptian will be competing for the European or even the Premier League’s Golden Boot award alongside the world’s finest strikers? Unfortunately, no one did.
Great players like Ahmed Hossam ‘Mido’, Amr Zaki, Mohamed Nagi “Gedo” and many more have graced the English fields, but were unfortunate to reach the top of their potential during their time abroad.
Along came Egypt’s undercover prodigy from the depths of Bassioun to revive the dream of millions of Egyptians to see one of their own perform on some of Europe’s biggest footballing stages.
Mohamed Salah, who is currently in the form of his life after scoring 31 league goals in just 31 games, is being compared to players on the calibre of Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Edinson Cavani, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, amidst all the speculation of the ‘Egyptian King’ being on his way to Spanish giants, Real Madrid, or Barcelona in the summer and the upcoming World Cup, let us have an insight on how Mo Salah is performing compared to last year’s FIFA player of the year and Ballon d’Or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Despite playing primarily at right wing, Mohamed Salah has broken multiple records and recorded impressive stats. He’s raising the bar for wingers all over the world, and to be the Premier League’s top scorer, player of the month and UEFA Champions League player of the week twice, the Arab Contractor’s youth product has proven himself to be one of the best this season.
Cristiano Ronaldo, on the other hand, struggled in his new position as striker in the season’s opening weeks, but has eventually been able to pick up his pace and reach a total of 37 goals (one goal more than Salah) in all competitions till this moment.
Statistically speaking, our fellow Egyptian has proven to be far more effective on the pitch than the Portuguese legend at this stage in their respective leagues. Salah has played 31 matches with the Reds, 7 more than Ronaldo, and has been involved in a total of 37 goals (28 goals and 9 assists) for Klopp’s side while Ronaldo has only directly contributed to 27 goals (22 goals and 5 assists).
Salah also has a better shot accuracy percentage (61% compared to Ronaldo’s 55%), a better take-on percentage (66% compared to Cristiano’s 64%) and also a larger number of chances created (52 compared to Ronaldo’s 36).
In football these days, the numbers have a lot to say in terms of critiquing certain players, and in this situation I won’t be exaggerating in picking Mohamed Salah over the five-time Ballon d’Or winner in my personal best XI of this season. Hopefully, we’ll get to watch both of these great players compete against one another in their countries’ clash at the World Cup in Russia this summer.
…with Gottlieb Baako (firstname.lastname@example.org)