Liverpool forward Salah missed out on a podium place in the final Ballon d’Or voting – finishing way down in seventh – while Lionel Messi won the award for a record seventh time
Mohamed Salah’s seventh place finish in the 2021 Ballon d’Or baffled many outside observers, with the Egypt international playing some of the best football of his career for Liverpool.
Reds manager Jurgen Klopp expressed his surprise at the outcome, while Salah himself laughed and said “I have no comment” when quizzed on the matter after being named man of the match in Wednesday’s Merseyside Derby.
Salah has continued to let his football do the talking, with two goals against Everton bringing his total for the season up to 19 to go along with the 15 he scored between January and May.
And he has been urged by one former Liverpool fan favourite not to worry too much after the relatively lowly finish.
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This year marks the third time in a row that Salah has missed out on a top-three spot in the Ballon d’Or voting.
The former Roma forward finished sixth in 2018 after helping Liverpool reach the Champions League final, and fifth 12 months later after winning the competition.
While Lionel Messi was a popular winner with a number of observers, and Robert Lewandowski has been prolific in front of goal throughout 2021, many felt Salah deserved to finish above Premier League rivals Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Salah will have opportunities in the years to come,” Messi said after winning the award, and former Liverpool winger John Barnes has joined the Argentine in consoling Salah.
“Absolutely it was harsh that Mo Salah only came seventh in the Ballon d’Or,” Barnes told BonusCodeBets.co.uk.
“It’s great to have individual accolades and it feels a bit strange that he finished where he finished, but the main thing is to just keep scoring goals,” the former England international said.
“Salah should have finished higher in the Ballon d’Or than Jorginho but individual accolades really mean nothing.
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“This season Mo’s been incredible, but the timing of when it starts and finishes is a bit strange,” Barnes said of the award, which runs across the calendar year rather than across a single season.
“But it’s not important. What’s important is doing well for Liverpool and they’re flying.”
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Salah and Liverpool have eight more games to play before the end of 2021, with Champions League and Carabao Cup fixtures in between six Premier League outings.
He needs four more goals to match the 23 he notched for the club before the turn of the year in the 2017-18 season, his first as a Reds player.
The club has begun discussions over when their top scorer will join up with the Egyptian national side, with some still hoping he is available for the crucial top-of-the-table clash with Chelsea on January 2.
*John Barnes was speaking to www.BonusCodeBets.co.uk .