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Mohamed Salah Named Seventh Best Player in World at Ballon d’Or Ceremony

The Liverpool star could be a favourite to win the Ballon d’Or next season if he keeps up his current scoring pace.

FBL-AFR-CAF-AWARD-BALLON-D’OR Photo credit should read SEYLLOU/AFP via Getty Images

Following a busy weekend of action across Europe, Monay’s biggest football story was the awards ceremony for the 2021 edition of the Ballon d’Or, with the game’s top individual prize back in the limelight after taking a year off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Given their struggles last season, no Liverpool players were in the running to win it this year after a strong 2019 edition that saw Virgil van Dijk named runner-up to Lionel Messi while Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah, and Alisson Becker were all in the top ten and Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Gini Wijnaldum made the top 30.

Still, there was room in the 2021 edition for Salah in the top ten, with Liverpool’s Egyptian King coming in at number seven. He is the only Liverpool player to be named in the top 30 this time around.

Having taken a year off, you could perhaps forgive organizers France Football for making a big show of the return of the Ballon d’Or. Still, it took a full five hours from the time Luka Modrić and César Azpilicueta were announced as joint 29th-place finishers until they got around to announcing that Salah had finished seventh, a preposterous and interminable wait even by typically bloated awards show standards.

Last season, Salah scored 22 goals and five assists in 37 league games and had 31 and six in 51 total appearances. So far this in the still young 2021-22 season, he has 17 goals and seven assists in 18 total appearances.

If the star forward manages to keep that kind of a pace up through all of 2022 and perhaps helps Egypt on a deep run at the Africa Cup of Nations in the new year, he could well head into the next edition of the Ballon d’Or as favourite to win it. And if he does, next year we’ll be better prepared for just how long we’ll have to wait to find out if he’s won or not.