Liverpool fans are baffled that Mohamed Salah has finished 11th in the final Ballon d’Or rankings for 2023.
Salah, 31, enjoyed a brilliant personal campaign last season despite Liverpool’s shortcomings; Jurgen Klopp’s side fell to a fifth-place finish and crashed out of every cup competition early on.
Despite that, Salah remained in top form netting 30 goals and providing 16 assists for his teammates in just 50 appearances.
Those statistics were astonishing but perhaps not fully appreciated because of how Liverpool performed overall. And his 11th place finish is his lowest it’s been across his past four nominations.
His recent finishes read: 2018 (6th) 2019 (5th) 2021 (7th) and 2022 (5th) but all of his seasons have seen strong performances in the Premier League and in Europe - especially his 2017/18 campaign in which he bagged the Puskas Award and broke the league record for most goals in a season.
However, this year saw him produce on all fronts, netting in every competition he featured in. Most notably, he smashed 10 goal contributions in just Champions League games and, as well as 19 goals and 12 assists in 38 games in the league, he managed 11 goal contributions against the top six.
Plus, only Erling Haaland (60) and Kylian Mbappe (49) managed more goals and assists in all competitions than Salah’s 46.
Of course, the fans have reacted strongly to the result, as one fan simply wrote: ‘Forever disrespected’.
While another wrote: ‘There are not 10 better players in the world than Salah.’
And another Liverpool fan penned: ‘Our poor form last season ruined his top 10 record.’
The favourites for the big prize are Lionel Messi, Haaland and Mbappe after all three produced brilliant years, but the Argentine is odds-on to win what would be a record eighth award.