Mohamed Salah could beat Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the 2018 Ballon d’Or if he maintains his standards at Liverpool and enjoys a productive World Cup, says Harry Kewell.
The Egypt international has been in stunning form for the Reds since signing in the summer of 2017, with a four-goal haul in his last outing against Watford taking him to 36 efforts for the season.
Only Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo can claim to have bettered that return, while Salah’s 28 goals in the Premier League having him leading the race for the English Golden Boot and the European Golden Shoe.
Plaudits have rained down on the talented 25-year-old and former Liverpool star Kewell sees no reason why a new hero at Anfield cannot challenge for the biggest prizes in world football.
He told talkSPORT: “Salah has had a phenomenal season.
“People are saying about Player of the Year, but I’d even go that next step.
“If he was to have a fantastic World Cup, gets a couple of goals and plays well, and then continues again next season, why not go for the Ballon d’Or?
“He’s got the goals, I don’t see why he couldn’t win it.”
Salah has been unplayable at times, with the confidence established early in the 2017-18 campaign having been maintained throughout a remarkably consistent season.
He has given opposition defences nightmares in domestic and European competition, with Kewell conceding that a stunning skill set is Messi-esque and makes him almost impossible to stop when on top of his game.
The ex-Reds winger added: “He has this amazing dribbling ability, and defenders are scared of it.
“It’s a part of the game that players believe they can do, but when you get someone who can actually dribble, obviously the best is Messi, who can run at defenders and be able to chop and change on a dime, and Salah can do this, you just can’t stop it.
“That’s the key with Salah – he drives at people, he’s chopping, turning, dribbling and people just don’t know how to deal with him.”