Samuel Eto'o Says Barcelona 'Would Be Better For' Mohamed Salah Than Real Madrid

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2019

KIEV, UKRAINE - MAY 26: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool is seen during the UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool on May 26, 2018 in Kiev, Ukraine. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Mohamed Salah should choose Barcelona over Real Madrid if he opts for a transfer away from Liverpool, according to Samuel Eto'o.

The latter played for both giants of La Liga but believes Salah belongs at the Camp Nou despite links with Los Blancos. Eto'o offered his advice, per BBC Sport: "Barcelona would be a better fit. Real gave me the opportunity to leave Africa but I know Barcelona's style and I think it would be better for him."

Eto'o also thinks moving to the Spanish top flight is something Salah should consider: "If he has the chance to play in the best league of the world, which is the Spanish one, he has to sign for Barcelona. Mo has everything to be one of the best players in the world."

Whether Salah would consider leaving Anfield in the near future is another matter after he's enjoyed two prolific seasons with the Reds. Salah ended his second campaign on Merseyside by helping Liverpool win the 2019 UEFA Champions League.

Salah netted one of the goals during a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the final. Performances like that one have Real interested, with BBC Sport saying Salah "has been linked with a move to" the Spanish capital.

Earlier this month, John Richardson of the Daily Mirror reported how Real and Juventus were ready to pay as much as £150 million for the Egypt international. Richardson said Salah "had been tempted" by joining Los Merengues but remains settled in Liverpool's ranks.

It makes sense for Salah to want to stay put since he's become the attacking talisman of an enterprising team. He arrived from AS Roma in 2017, and his goals have powered Liverpool to back-to-back Champions League finals.

Liverpool FC @LFC

1⃣0⃣4⃣ Appearances 7⃣1⃣ Goals 2⃣ x Golden Boots 2⃣ x African Player of the Year Champions League winner PFA Players' Player of the Year Premier League Player of the Season Puskás Award winner A lot has happened since @MoSalah​ joined the Reds #onthisday in 2017. 😍 https://t.co/VHn8nyn2qP

Ironically, he was on the losing end of the first of those finals to Real in 2018. It was a night to forget for Salah, who left the pitch early after suffering a shoulder injury following a clash with Real centre-back Sergio Ramos.

The injury occurring shortly before he was set to represent his country at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia only compounded Salah's misery.

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"Was just crying...I felt like the Champions League is over and the World Cup is over." @MoSalah on his UCL final injury, being a "one-season wonder," facing Messi and more (via @brfootball) https://t.co/UGsEaNJozk

To his credit, Salah rebounded brilliantly to help Liverpool be a force both domestically and in Europe this season. The Reds finished as runners-up in the Premier League, missing out to Manchester City despite amassing 97 points.

Salah's goals were a big reason Liverpool kept pace with City, as he finished in a three-way tie as the division's top goalscorer.

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22 goals Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Sadio Mane Mohamed Salah Three amazing players, three amazing seasons and all worthy winners of the @CadburyUK Golden Boot! https://t.co/yPJrEd7Bcp

There's no doubt Salah, who is representing the Pharaohs on home soil at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, would be an asset in a Real squad still trying to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Juve last summer. Manager Zinedine Zidane needs more support for Karim Benzema and a more dependable option out wide than talented but oft-injured Gareth Bale.

Yet Barca could also use a forward with Salah's pace, timing and eye for goal. Ousmane Dembele and Malcom have struggled to make the grade, and the Blaugrana still haven't wrapped up a deal for Antoine Griezmann, with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu denying talks have taken place with the Atletico Madrid ace, per Lewis Winter of the Sunday Express.

Barca need a third star alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez up top. Salah could be it and a cheaper option than former player Neymar, who continues to be linked with a return from Paris Saint-Germain:

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Tomorrow's edition of Catalan paper SPORT claim that Neymar has sent the following WhatsApp message to the Barcelona dressing room: "Don't worry, I am coming." https://t.co/LUPchRZaLX

If Barca were to move ahead of Real as a potential destination for Salah, should he move on, it would maintain the Blaugrana's recent standing as Spain's dominant force over their bitter rivals.

However, Eto'o's recommendation aside, both of Spain's leading clubs will find it difficult to move Salah from Liverpool, a place where has matured into a true star of the global game.