LIVERPOOL – The world football governing body, FIFA, has named 10 players for the award of the best footballer in 2018, in recognition of their outstanding performances for their teams. Mohammed Salah is on the shortlist.
Salah’s quest to be the best has taken a new remarkable turn with his name appearing alongside world’s top football stars shortlisted for the award on Tuesday, July 24.
“That is the sort of company he is in now,” former Liverpool forward Ian Rush told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday.
“Ronaldo, Messi, and Salah. On his performances, he is on a par with them. Every time you see him play you feel like he is going to score. He must feel that himself. Imagine what the defenders must feel like.”
Along with Salah, the list includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin De Bruyne, Antoine Griezmann, Eden Hazard, Harry Kane, Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Luka Modric, and Raphael Varane.
Salah scored 44 goals in 52 appearances in all competitions last season while helping Liverpool surge through the Champions League knockout stages while securing a fourth-place EPL finish.
He broke the EPL record for goals in a 38-game season with 32, while establishing himself as one of the best players in the world.
Liverpool Muslim star Mohamed Salah added a new trophy to his list of awards this year, as he was feted in May with the Golden Boot for the Premier League’s top scorer, after finishing the season with 32 goals, setting a new scoring record.
The Egypt star also won the Professional Footballers’ Association player of the year award in April.
Hailing from a Muslim-majority country, Salah is a devout Muslim who often prostrates to God on the field after scoring goals – a trend in sports that Egyptian players have started since 2006 during the African Cup of Nations in Egypt- hence nicknamed the ‘Prostrating Pharaohs’.
Earlier this year, the traveling Liverpool fans in the streets of a Portuguese city in midweek struck up a new chant to the tune of the 90s hit “Good Enough” by Dodgy with the line: “If he scores another few, then I’ll be Muslim too!”
A recent report by Football Against Racism in Europe (Fare) found that the success of Liverpool Muslim star Mohamed Salah has significantly decreased hate and race crimes in the English Premier League.