Salah Deserves To Have Won
Speaking exclusively to Genting, he said: “I [want to] ask the question as to why [Salah] hasn’t won the Ballon d’Or.
“You can make a case for [Robert] Lewandowski who didn’t win one either, he won the FIFA Best because they’ve got all these awards, but the Ballon d’Or is the one – and I think it should have been between Lewandowski and Salah. I think Salah finished seventh or something.
“I think the appreciation [of Salah] outside of England is probably a lot less than it is in England. I think he should have been in the mix to win one of those [awards].
“He’s scored [over] 150 goals [for Liverpool]. We compare Salah’s numbers to the best centre-forwards Liverpool have had – Liverpool have probably had in the last 20 or 30 years always one of the best strikers in the world.
“If you look at [Robbie] Fowler, if you look at [Michael] Owen, [Ian] Rush, [John] Aldridge, [John] Toshack, [Fernando] Torres, [Luis] Suarez, you know, Salah gets compared with these guys, he plays on the wing.
“These were out-and-out centre-forwards. This guy is playing on the wing, and he amasses the same numbers as these guys do.
“I don’t know what it will take for him to win one, but I don’t think he could have done any more than he did in the last two or three years. He’s simply an outstanding and unbelievable player.”
Van Dijk And Jota Praise
Hamann also singled out Liverpool’s Diogo Jota and Virgil van Dijk for praise, suggesting the latter had needed time to re-adjust since returning from a long-term injury – but is now back to the player he was.
“Jota has been brilliant since he signed,” Hamann explained. “He’s very reliable. People thought, ‘what happens if Firmino has a rough spell?’, but he came in and he’s just been unbelievable. He sets up goals, he makes goals, scores goals.
“People probably expected a bit too much of Van Dijk after being out for almost a year. I think he needed a few weeks, or months, hence they conceded probably more goals – remember the game in Brentford where they conceded three.
“He seems to be back to his best. They’re probably the two players [who have been most impressive for Liverpool this season besides Salah], but it’s hard to say because the first XI is full of world class players, but I’d say these two probably have made the biggest difference.”
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