You can’t write a better storyline than the two of the most prolific clubs in European history in Liverpool and Real Madrid meeting head-to-head in the Champions League final on Saturday. Star-studded matchups all over the pitch make for excitement for the neutral: Roberto Firmino vs. Sergio Ramos, Virgil Van Dijk vs. Karim Benzema and of course Toni Kroos vs. Jamez Thrillner.
However the most-watched matchup won’t even occur directly on the football pitch between two of the biggest superstars in football: living legend Cristiano Ronaldo and the burgeoning Mohamed Salah. With the Madrid goal machine representing one half of the duopoly shared with Lionel Messi in the Best-Player-In-All-The-Land conversation, Liverpool’s Salah comes into the match looking to join the party.
With a Messi/Ronaldo-esque 44 goals this season, many, including Salah’s teammates, think that a win for Liverpool gives the dynamite Egyptian’s a real chance to become the first person other than those two to win the Ballon d’Or award in a decade.
Dejan Lovren is among the supporters of the 25-year-old’s candidacy “I spoke to Mo about that,” the Liverpool center back said in a press conference on Monday.
“It is still quite an early stage but if we win definitely he is one of the contenders.
“When you score 44, definitely. When you look, Messi, Ronaldo, Mo Salah, he deserves to be in the top three.”
Incidentally, Salah’s season goal tally leaves him only three away from Ian Rush’s club record of 47. As the eviscerations of the likes of Manchester City, Roma, Porto and Spartak Moscow over the course of the Reds’ magical Champions League campaign have proven, racking up the scoring opportunities for any one player to bag a hat trick isn’t too large of an ask for this dynamic Liverpool squad, with Rush himself rooting for the Reds’ no. 11 to break the record.
“If he does break it then I hope it’s with the winning goals in the Champions League final—then I would be a happy man,” said Rush.
There you have it, the blessing to smash four goals in a bore blowout has been secured. Up the Reds.