Mohamed Salah for Ballon d'Or? Messi & Ronaldo have a new rival

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The Liverpool star has outscored both men so far this season - but with the World Cup still to come the prize is far from decided

The Ballon d'Or has been Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's personal property for the last decade, but that might just be changing this year. 

Mohamed Salah has been an unstoppable force for Liverpool, netting 43 goals in all competitions in one of the greatest debut seasons in football history. 

That is more than both Ronaldo (42) and Messi (40) have managed this season.

In the process Jurgen Klopp's men have strolled into the Champions League semi-finals and also look set to finish in the top four of what has been an extremely hard-fought Premier League in 2017-18. 

On Tuesday Roma became the latest side to feel his wrath as he hit two goals before half time in Anfield to put the Reds in the driving seat in the first leg.

But what would Salah have to do in order to dethrone Messi and Ronaldo? 

For the last four seasons the Champions League has proved the decisive tie-breaker in favour of either the Real Madrid and Barcelona stars. 

Messi last received the Ballon d'Or in 2015, after Barca's treble campaign, while Ronaldo has won three of the last four awards - all in years Madrid were crowned European champions. 

This year, however, the World Cup adds another variable to the mix. 

If Messi can lead Argentina to their first World Cup title since 1986 in Russia, for example, or Ronaldo picks up Portugal's first, it would be once more hard to see past either of the stars for the 2018 prize. 

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Nevertheless, if Salah can mastermind Liverpool's first Champions League title since 2005 he would be in the driving seat to break a 10-year monopoly on the prize and become the first winner since Kaka in 2007 to come from outside of that dynamic duo. 

Does he deserve it? Cast your vote in our Twitter poll above and have your say!

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