Best of Africa

‘The award’s a joke’ – Africa reacts to Salah Ballon d’Or snub

15:35 EAT 30/11/2021
Mohamed Salah Egypt
The Liverpool forward’s fine form this year didn’t even merit a top five finish according to voters

The Ballon d'Or 2021 awards have come and gone with Lionel Messi taking home the biggest prize for the record seventh time, however, African fans are bemused to see Mohammed Salah outside of the top 5.

Expectedly, they’ve taken to social media en masse to give their opinion to the Liverpool star missing out on the prestigious award.

Kolade Daniel runs through the best and worst of Africa's social response.

Salah had an outstanding season and year for Liverpool, despite the team's struggles in the Premier League and their failure to defend the title they won in 2019/20.

He has also started the new season on an incredible note, scoring 11 goals already in the Premier League. Only the 2021 France Football Striker of the Year Robert Lewandowski has more goals than him in Europe this season.

African fans were eager to see Salah get some form of recognition for the sake of the player's profile and the continent as a whole, but his seventh-place finish in the overall standings has raised a few eyebrows.

Did Salah deserve a higher placement?

Salah finished a place behind Cristiano Ronaldo and many fans found it a respectable finish. A few, however, have called the legitimacy of the awards into question due to Salah's ranking.

"Jorginho, Kante and Ronaldo finished higher than Salah in the Ballon d’Or, this award is an absolute joke," @SamuelLFC wrote on Twitter.

Another Twitter user from Nigeria, @Horlatunde, believes that Salah is as talented as the best, but plays in the wrong league.

He wrote on Twitter: "One reason I respect Ronaldo a lot was winning the world best as a PL player, PL players rarely have such look.

“Very underrated most times. Salah at Barcelona or Madrid enters the top 3."

Meanwhile, a content Ghanaian fan on Twitter has declared open season on every other top player in the world on behalf of the Egyptian.

@Opresii wrote on the social media app: "Mo Salah 7th, well done King. Next year we’re coming for everyone."

Another Twitter user has gone ahead to predict a battle between Messi, Lewandowski and Salah for next year's award.

@VenusAkingba wrote on the social media app: "Lionel Messi could win his eighth Ballon D'Or next year if he hits form in January, win Ligue 1 and do well in the UCL.

“Could be a Good year for Salah, Lewa could also win it if he continues his goal scoring form. UCL win will play a big role. Game on!"

A Twitter account dedicated to celebrating the country of Egypt echoed the sentiments of the whole nation as well as all the bemused Liverpool fans.

"Egyptian player Salah ranked 7th in the 2021 Ballon d’Or. You will always be No.1 for us," @Egyptiantimes1 tweeted.

The opinions are divided along the lines of Salah deserving a top 10 finish and the forward finishing higher than seventh place.

However, it cannot be denied that the Egyptian King is in excellent form this season and could be a threat for Lionel Messi next year.

Join the conversation below and share your thoughts on the topic to let us know if Salah's seventh-place finish is an appropriate reward for his work in the past year.

by Kolade Daniel