Mohamed Salah admits he was ‘shocked’ at finishing seventh in last year’s Ballon d’Or – but Liverpool forward is hopeful of becoming first African star since George Weah to win the award this time around
- Lionel Messi won last year’s Ballon d’Or, with Robert Lewandowski second place
- Mohamed Salah finished seventh and has admitted his shock at not being higher
- He is hopeful of becoming the first African player since George Weah to win it
- Salah believes Liverpool deserved to win the Champions League final last month
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has admitted his shock at finishing seventh in last year’s Ballon d’Or race but is hopeful of going all the way this time around.
The big prize was won by Lionel Messi in Paris last November, with Robert Lewandowski second and Jorginho third.
Salah says he was surprised with his ranking but is hopeful of being the first African player since George Weah to win it later this year.
Mo Salah (above) has admitted he was shocked to finish seventh in last year’s Ballon d’Or gong
The big prize was won by Lionel Messi, with Robert Lewandowski second and Jorginho third
The Egypt international told L’Equipe: ‘I want to win it to join George Weah, the only African [in 1995],’ the Liverpool forward told L’Equipe.
‘It’s true that I was shocked by my ranking in 2021 (seventh). For this year, the defeat against Real Madrid is a disadvantage, even if I played a good game in the final.
‘But it doesn’t cancel out everything I’ve achieved for months. Let’s wait for the vote.
‘And if I’m not Ballon d’Or in 2022, I’ll do everything I can to be the next one.’
Salah had yet another season to remember despite Liverpool falling short on winning an unprecedented quadruple as they settled for FA Cup and Carabao Cup success.
George Weah (pictured) is the last African winner of the Ballon d’Or, having won it in 1995
The 29-year-old scored 31 goals and provided 16 assists in 51 games across all competitions.
Jurgen Klopp’s side lost in the Champions League final as Vinicius Jr’s second-half goal proved to be the difference in Paris last month.
Salah believes his side deserved to win the match but praised Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who had a game to remember.
Salah believes Liverpool deserved to win the Champions League final against Real Madrid
‘We deserved to win, we had more chances. I had two or three clear chances but Thibaut Courtois made incredible saves,’ Salah said.
‘It’s his job, that’s what Real Madrid signed him for. It was his night.’
The Ballon d’Or award is expected to be handed out later this year in October, with the likes of Salah, Karim Benzema and Lewandowski expected to be in the mix.