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Mohamed Salah Ballon d'Or exclusive: “Am I the best player in the world? In my mind, yes”

Salah 339 Nick Eagle
(Image credit: Nick Eagle Photography)

Mohamed Salah is determined to win the Ballon d’Or as a gift to the people of Egypt – and the Liverpool star believes he’s currently the best player on the planet.

Salah is vying with Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema to bag the honour this year, as he attempts to help Liverpool claim an unprecedented quadruple, and sat down for an extensive interview with FourFourTwo to speak about five glorious years at Liverpool, his spell at Chelsea and his long-term future, among other subjects.

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During the interview, he outlined his dream to become the first player from an Arab country to win the Ballon d’Or. 

“Of course it means a lot, it would mean a lot to win it,” he told FFT. “One of my purposes in life is to change the people, especially in my country, an Arab country – that they can achieve what they want to achieve. Those things give them more belief in themselves, that they can do whatever they want.”

The Egyptian has been described by some as the best player in the world this season – an assessment that Salah himself agrees with. 

“In my mind, yes, I’m always saying that,” he said. “I will never say, ‘Yeah, I’m better than this person or I’m better than that person’, no – but in my mind I’m always choosing myself as the best, I don’t choose anyone other than me. It’s always opinion, though. I respect all other players.”

Salah’s claim to be the best player on the planet will be strengthened further if he helps Liverpool win both the Premier League and the Champions League. While Lewandowski’s Bayern Munich went out of the latter competition in the quarter-finals, the Reds are battling Manchester City in the race for the Premier League, and go into their Champions League semi-final against Villarreal as favourites. “Winning them both again would make me win the Ballon d’Or…” he half-joked.

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The 29-year-old knows that collective success with Liverpool is the top priority, and is determined to make it happen. Having already won the Premier League and the Champions League during his time at the club, a total of three trophies are up for grabs between now and the end of May – Jurgen Klopp’s side also face Chelsea in the FA Cup final next month.

“Hopefully we can get the three,” he said. “If not, then at least the Premier League and the Champions League. It’s a hunger. I want to win them two, three, four times. Why not? You can dream whatever you want to dream, and you can achieve whatever you want to achieve.”

You can pre-order the new issue of FourFourTwo here (opens in new tab). Read the full interview with Salah, from Thursday, April 28 in shops. See what else is inside the magazine here.

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Chris joined FourFourTwo in 2015 and has reported from 20 countries, in places as varied as Jerusalem and the Arctic Circle. He's interviewed Pele, Zlatan and Santa Claus (it's a long story), as well as covering Euro 2020 and the Clasico. He previously spent 10 years as a newspaper journalist, and completed the 92 in 2017.