Champions League crown could fire Salah to Ballon d'Or - Muller

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The Bayern Munich and Germany forward believes Liverpool's attacker could make himself a real contender for the award if the Reds win Saturday

Mohamed Salah is a "big candidate" for the Ballon d'Or if he fires Liverpool to Champions League glory, according to Thomas Muller.

Salah has smashed a series of records in his first season at Liverpool, including setting a new mark for the most goals in a 38-game Premier League season.

The Egypt international claimed the Premier League's Player of the Year prize as a result, along with other accolades including the PFA Players' Player of the Year gong.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have dominated the Ballon d'Or for a decade, winning the individual award on five occasions each since Kaka's success in 2007.

But Bayern Munich and Germany forward Muller thinks Salah could be the man to break up the Ronaldo-Messi era - if Liverpool beat Real Madrid in Kiev on Saturday.

"I think that Mo Salah was very impressive," Muller told the Mirror. "Maybe if Liverpool can win the Champions League title, he’s a big candidate.

"The whole world is looking for a new Ballon d'Or winner. Leo Messi and Ronaldo are outstanding, but the performance of Salah this season was also outstanding. I think he has a great chance.

"But in the end to win the Ballon d'Or is not the biggest thing you can reach, because when you win titles with your team, it gives you so much more intensity and good feelings - that, in my opinion, is more important."

Muller will team up with Manchester City's fleet-footed winger Leroy Sane at the World Cup, with the pair aiming to help Germany defend the crown they won four years ago in Brazil.

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But Muller insists Joachim Low's side will operate as a collective in Russia, rather than relying on individual brilliance at the tournament.

"He did very great job in the Premier League," Muller said of Sane. "But I think in Germany we don't have that single player that is better than the rest.

"We have many players that have the talent to play a season like Salah, but I think you have to win titles as well to win the Ballon d'Or."

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