The Egyptian star has overcome all the barriers and expectations that have been set for him in recent years, so why not achieve the Golden Ball, which is the best in the world?!
Before the start of the 2017-2018 season, the most optimistic – and I myself – was betting himself that Mohamed Salah would break the 15 goals he scored with Roma in his last season in the Liverpool shirt in his first season.
A few weeks later, my thinking turned to the 20 goals barrier, and then the 30 and 40 at the end of the season in which he broke the record for the number of goals in one Premier League season.
Instead of thinking about whether he could win the Premier League Player of the Month or how many times he’d appear in the perfect week’s squad, that thought turned to Player of the Season award, and then to the Ballon d’Or.
Suddenly the ambition grew, and instead of thinking of entering the final list of the best players in the continent by January, Salah succeeded in obtaining the award for the best in Africa, and four months later, thanks to his efforts and records, he booked the award for the next season with a greater difference than his nearest competitor.
Those exact words we spoke in 2018, when Salah was on a date with the Champions League final against Real Madrid, and we asked ourselves the same question in the title, why does Mohamed Salah not achieve the Golden Ball?!
Why doesn’t Mohamed Salah get the Golden Ball?!
In 2018, Liverpool lost the Champions League final against Real Madrid, Salah left the field injured and his participation in the World Cup with Egypt was threatened.
Salah lost the Golden Ball that year to Luka Modric, who led Croatia to the World Cup final and led Real Madrid to the third consecutive Champions League title.
The global media machine directed the voices at the time to the Croatian star instead of Ronaldo, who left Real Madrid, instead of Messi, who was suffering from the effects of the devastating Rimontada of Rome, and instead of Salah, who, no matter how much we talk about the power of the media machine behind him, whether in Egypt, the Arab world or England, we will find that In the end, it does not receive sufficient appreciation and support, whether at home or abroad.
Not the first time
As we explained before, this is not the first time for Mohamed Salah, whose name is repeated next to the name of the Golden Ball, as he was close in 2018.
But for the aforementioned circumstances, Salah did not receive the most prestigious individual award in the world, despite being crowned the English Premier League top scorer and best player in the tournament and leading the Egyptian national team to return to the World Cup after an absence of 28 years, with a last-minute goal.
Darkened by his nationality?
In 2018, Egypt’s World Cup campaign was not good enough for Salah to be mentioned in the Ballon d’Or records.
It is true that Salah scored the team’s two goals in the tournament, but the Pharaohs left the World Cup without any victory, and with a shameful record.
Perhaps if the Egyptian national team had reached the final and faced Portugal and somehow succeeded in outperforming Cristiano Ronaldo’s companions, the conversation would have been different.
Perhaps if Salah was Croatian, he would have won the award in 2018 instead of Luka Modric, and perhaps even he had led the team to a historic title in the World Cup.
Most Influential Ever
The talk here is just a personal point of view, but it is actually the point of view of many in recent days after the situation that Salah created this season.
The Egyptian star is perhaps the most influential at the moment in the world at the individual level, and at the level of his ability to change the fate of the match and give his team its points.
Salah against Manchester City, the champion of the English Premier League with all its stars, succeeded alone in diverting the course of a match that Liverpool was on the way to losing without any doubt, and made his team advance in the result twice, with a distinguished individual level in the industry and registration, as if he was playing a symphony that enthralled those who watched the confrontation.
It is not limited to Manchester City only, Salah in general makes us remember his level in 2018 when he amazed the world and everyone started to compare him with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Where are Messi and Ronaldo?!
Speaking of the duo that won the most Ballon d’Or in history, where are they this season? The first left his kingdom and left for Paris Saint-Germain to find himself just one in a group, his individual influence became clearly less, and the second returned to his former team after he failed to find a destination that fulfilled his ambition to return to the European Champions League.
Our words are not to belittle the great duo, Messi is the Copa America champion, and Ronaldo is the all-time top scorer of the European Champions League, and there is no need to talk about their achievements in football.
But just to make it clear that their status on the world football scene is not what it was three or four years ago, even then Luka Modric managed to snatch the award from them.
What does Mohamed Salah need to achieve the Golden Ball?
On the technical and physical level and its impact on the results of his team, the Egyptian star does not lack anything to get the award, which has become more difficult to compete in the past two decades thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
But on the level of influence more broadly on a global scale, the state of propaganda surrounding Messi and Ronaldo and the powerful media machine of the duo, Salah is still a long way off.
Regardless, as we talked about before about the strength of the Egyptian media machine, it is still its scope locally or regionally at best, and despite the strength of the English media, Mohamed Salah does not get the amount of appreciation he deserves, even in his club so far, his contract has not been renewed in the amount that he His request and he certainly deserves it as the best star in the English Premier League.
But what is the importance of the media machine in crowning Mohamed Salah with the Golden Ball?
Dear reader, the Ballon d’Or, although it is a purely individual award that is supposed to recognize and celebrate the performance of a player during a single season, so far it has only been subject to the criteria of a specific group of people.
All these people are necessarily subject to the influence of the media, trends, and propaganda around them, and this does not detract from them. This is the nature of the human soul. It is better to take shelter in the majority than to be alone with your opinion, in other words, as psychologists call herd behavior.
Salah would have won the Ballon d’Or had the media message directed to that matter, even if he had not played even a single minute all season.
If the award was for individual performance only, in numbers and points, he might have achieved it in 2018, and perhaps it would have been easier to achieve this year.
Who will win the Golden Ball? Did Mohamed Salah lose hope in it?
Despite his poor start to the new season with Paris Saint-Germain, Lionel Messi has already booked the award, and this is the reality.
The moment the referee in the Copa America final blew his whistle, declaring the Argentine winner of the tournament, Messi’s name was engraved on the award and everything was arranged to win it.
Despite the disastrous season in Barcelona, the collective mind of football fans and influencers of the voices accepted it.
Even if Messi did not play any other game in the season except the one in which he won the Copa America, he would have won the Golden Ball, for all his performance in years in which he lost the same award for losing a final or not achieving a continental championship.
All that we have said does not mean that Messi, Ronaldo, Modric or any player loses the right to win the Ballon d’Or in any year, and it does not mean at all that someone stole it.
Even if Iniesta deserved it more than Messi in one year, or Ribery deserved it more than Ronaldo, but what we say is that the award is not only subject to technical performance, whether individually or collectively, and if it were, the list of winners in the last two decades would have varied a lot.
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