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    Friday, 3 December 2021

    Ballon d'Or: Ian Rush sends Lionel Messi message to Mohamed Salah

    Liverpool great Ian Rush has given his verdict on Mohamed Salah's 7th place Ballon d'Or finish


    Salah was one of 30 nominees for the prestigious Ballon d'Or award, which was hosted for the first time since 2019 because of the pandemic in Paris on Monday night.

    The Egyptian has impressed for Liverpool with 13 Premier League goals in 14 matches so far this season and has been instrumental in his side's success over the past couple of years.

    However, his form wasn’t enough to prevent Lionel Messi winning the award for a seventh time, with Robert Lewandowski, Jorginho, Karim Benzema, N'Golo Kante and Cristiano Ronaldo all raking higher than the forward.

    Speaking ahead of his side’s clash with Everton, Jurgen Klopp admitted he was "surprised" that Salah came in at seventh place.

    And Klopp’s claims have now been backed up by Rush, who believes Salah is the best player in the most difficult league in the world to play in and that should be taken into consideration.

    The Liverpool legend branded Mohamed Salah’s seventh place finish as a "joke".

    "Congratulations to Lionel Messi on winning the Ballon d’Or for an incredible seventh time but for Mohamed Salah to finish seventh on the list is a bit of a joke to me,” he told gambling.com.

    “I can understand the likes of Messi and Robert Lewandowski finishing ahead of him – they’ve both won major honours and scored plenty of goals – but Salah is right up there with them and should have been in the top three in my opinion.

    "From where I’m standing, Salah is the best player in the most difficult league in the world to play in, and that should have been factored in.

    “He’s been in the best form of his life over the past year and he’s only come seventh? Come on!

    "He’s getting better and better and I don’t think the Ballon d’Or outcome reflects that fairly.

    "I might be biased, but from a personal point of view I’m disappointed with the result. In my view, Lewandowski and Salah are the two best players in world football right now.

    "I’ve nothing against any of the players who finished above Salah – they’re all world class players – but maybe too much emphasis is put on what players achieve with their international teams.

    “Messi won the Copa America with Argentina and Jorginho won the Euros with Italy.

    "Those two nations are always likely to be in the mix at major international tournaments and it puts players like Lewandowski and Salah at a disadvantage with Poland and Egypt respectively.

    "I can resonate with their situation because with Wales I always found it a lot harder to get chances and score goals and never played at a major tournament.

    "Success comes more naturally to the bigger footballing nations because they have bigger and better pools of players to choose from, and I think that should be considered when voting takes place on who has been the best player in the world each year."

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