Thomas Muller Says Mohamed Salah Can Win the Ballon d'Or If Liverpool Win UCL

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMay 25, 2018

Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah applauds fans as he is substituted during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on May 13, 2018. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Bayern Munich star Thomas Muller said Mohamed Salah has an excellent chance of winning the Ballon d'Or this year if Liverpool beat Real Madrid to the UEFA Champions League title. 

Salah will line up against one of the top candidates for the award, Cristiano Ronaldo, when the Reds take on Los Blancos on Saturday.

If the Egyptian's side are triumphant, Muller thinks the gong could go to him. Per the Mirror's Jack Rathborn, he said:

"I think that Mo Salah was very impressive. 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."

Per ESPN UK, former Liverpool and Real striker Michael Owen is of the same opinion:

Salah has bagged 44 goals and 16 assists in all competitions this season, while Ronaldo has the same number of goals and half as many assists, and the pair can add to their tallies in the final.

Lionel Messi, who has won La Liga and the Copa del Rey with Barcelona this season, notched 45 goals and 18 assists.

The Liverpool man is aiming to emulate their pair's longevity at the top of the game:

While Salah does need to do that to be truly compared with the duo, his form this year has been of a similar standard and that's what counts in the Ballon d'Or.

However, as Muller and Owen have alluded to, the silverware a player wins—particularly the Champions Leaguehas become increasingly important in deciding the voting for the Ballon d'Or, seemingly more so than how well the player actually played.

As such, Messi will likely only win it for a sixth time this year if he lifts the World Cup with Argentina, despite his magnificent exploits on the domestic stage.

Otherwise, Saturday's final feels like it will decide the Ballon d'Or winner—Ronaldo if Real triumph, Salah if Liverpool do.

Ronaldo's sheer popularity will still give him a chance even if Madrid don't lift the Champions League for the third season running, and he too could have a big impact on the World Cup with Portugal, but Salah should be the favourite if Liverpool lift the trophy.

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