Gary Neville has risked the wrath of Liverpool fans by saying Mohamed Salah has no chance of winning this year’s Ballon d’Or.
Salah has seen his odds slashed to win football’s most coveted individual prize after a stunning campaign in which he has contributed 43 goals and 15 assists in 47 appearances for the Reds.
But Manchester United legend Neville believes another player already has the award wrapped up.
Responding to a graphic comparing Salah’s statistics with Lionel Messi, Ciro Immobile and Cristiano Ronaldo, Neville replied saying it was the latter who would be claiming the trophy for a sixth time.
‘Only one winner = @Cristiano’, the Sky Sports pundit wrote on Twitter with Liverpool fans quick to take offence.
After his brace in Tuesday’s 5-2 victory over Roma, Salah is now considered joint favourite to pick up the prize alongside Real Madrid star Ronaldo and ahead of Barcelona’s Messi, who have shared the last 10 awards equally.
The Roma double took the Egyptian to 43 goals for the season, meaning he is now the outright top scorer in Europe with his fellow Ballon d’Or contenders Ronaldo and Messi on 41 and 35 respectively.
History tells us that winning the Champions League is of the utmost importance when it comes to deciding who lifts the Ballon d’Or. Eight of the last 11 Golden Ball winners had also inspired their teams to Champions League titles in the same year.
With Ronaldo and Real Madrid contesting yet another Champions League semi-final with against Bayern Munich, this year’s Ballon d’Or could come down to whether Liverpool or the Spanish club lift the famous trophy.
However, the World Cup in Russia is likely to have a huge say on matters. Salah, Ronaldo and Messi are all set to strut their stuff on football’s biggest stage this summer and their performances will carry enormous weight when it comes to the Ballon d’Or voting later this year.