Mohamed Salah will be the favourite to win the Ballon d'Or if he leads Liverpool past Real Madrid in Saturday's Champions League final, club legend Mark Lawrenson believes.
The 25-year-old has been in sensational form in 2017-18, scoring 44 goals in 51 appearances in all competitions since his move from Roma.
Salah's sublime performances have already earned him a number of individual accolades, including the Premier League top scorer and player of the season awards.
Lawrenson thinks there could be more individual recognition to come if he leads his team to European glory, though, and has tipped the Egypt international to dethrone Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo as best player in the world.
"I think if Salah scores and Liverpool win then he has won the Ballon d'Or, to be honest. He has been sensational," Lawrenson told Goal.
"He plays on the right so he is not stood in the middle and getting chance, after chance, after chance. He makes so many opportunities for himself.
"He reminds me a bit of Messi. Where he gets himself in a position where they are backing off him, they know what he is going to do but it doesn’t make any difference. He still does it and he goes past them and scores. I am not sure that I have seen anyone who moves his feet so quick. Especially when he is in the penalty area and has people moving backwards.
"I remember seeing the game against Tottenham earlier in the season and he did three of them, three defenders and they were all in really good positions to take the ball off him. He just went past them and he scored. They were all stood there bemused.
Lawrenson: Salah should win Ballon d'Or if Liverpool beat Real Madrid
If Mohamed Salah leads Liverpool to the Champions League title, will he finally break the Messi-Ronaldo monopoly on the Ballon d'Or? Posted by Goal.com on Friday, 25 May 2018
"It is just the pace at which he moves his feet with the ball and he is strong. That’s the other thing that people don’t realise how strong he is. He looks shortish and a bit weedy, but he is very very strong."
Liverpool have seen key players such as Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho leave the club in recent years, but Lawrenson is confident Salah will stay put at Anfield for the foreseeable future.
"They will all want to buy him. Liverpool have sold players. Torres, Suarez and Coutinho. That’s just the way it is. He has only done a year. Everyone would love to take him but I would be very surprised if he moves," he added.
"It is a bit like Harry Kane at Tottenham, I think it would be a surprise. I think there’s something about them where they know that they like where they are, what they are doing and everything in their world is good.
"It is kind of like why would you up sticks and move and run the risk? I think everybody likes him at the club, he loves the club, he is happy, but hey, money talks doesn’t it?"
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