Tomorrow’s Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid is much more than a matchup between Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo, but it’s a storyline too attractive for anyone to ignore for long.
The rising star vs. the all-time great; the Egyptian with an astounding 44 goals on the season just ahead the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s 43 goals. Both are sure to have an impact on proceedings and will most likely be the primary concern for the respective opposing coaching staffs.
However, while Ronaldo in his youth had some similarity to the 25-year-old star, their games—and the threat each will pose in Kiev—are markedly distinct.
The Portuguese forward outlined these differences when the question inevitably came up in a pre-taped interview that will air today:
”People want to compare me with other players, I am different to everyone,” Ronald said speaking to BT Sport. “Salah is different to everyone. So we are different.”
The 33-year-old highlighted for example, the physical differences between the two: “[Salah] plays with the left [foot], I play with the right, I’m tall, he’s a little bit shorter. I play with my head, you know—we are completely different.
“But I have to say he has had a fantastic season, but Saturday, let’s see.”
"He plays with the left, I play with the right, I'm tall, he's a little bit shorter..."— Real Madrid vs Liverpool live on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 24, 2018
Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't see any comparisons between him and Mohamed Salah #NoFilterUCL: The Final, Episode 1, drops at 9am on Friday morning pic.twitter.com/WrdH4fSver
The four-time Champions League winner went on to also compliment the fearsome attack of Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané as the pointy end of an attack that has set the record for goals in the competition
“They remind me of Madrid three or four years ago,” Ronaldo said admiringly. “Their three front players, they’re very quick—they are powerful in attack and I respect them.
“But Madrid are better. We have to play to our level, but we also have to respect the opposition.”
Whatever man. Saturday needs to hurry up so Ronaldo and the Blancos can catch these hands.