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Mohamed Salah refused Cristiano Ronaldo compliment – but Old Trafford may change his mind – swiftheadline


Mohamed Salah has done rather well at Old Trafford in 2021.

In January, just as Liverpool’s poor form and injury issues were beginning to take hold, Salah struck twice in the FA Cup fourth round but was unable to inspire his struggling side to anything other than a valiant 3-2 defeat.

Little wonder he seemed to enjoy May a lot more then, as he raced clear in stoppage time to bury a shot into the right hand side of Dean Henderson’s pretty exposed net, confirming a 4-2 victory for the visitors – Jurgen Klopp’s first at Old Trafford – en route to their late season surge for the top four.

And there was something special about the Salah celebration that night.

Upon scoring his goal the Egyptian sank to his knees and let out a scream into the deserted Old Trafford air.








Salah celebrated wildly after scoring at Old Trafford in May
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Image:

GETTY)


This was one more step towards ensuring that a mess of a season did not have to dent the ego too much. Three more steps lay ahead and, with the help of a stoppage-time header from the Liverpool goalkeeper, all three hurdles were passed.

Because Salah knows he belongs at the top table now. There is a very strong chance that he wouldn’t be performing at the levels we are currently seeing him at if Liverpool were not playing in the Champions League – where he’s already scored five goals in three games this season.

That’s where the big boys play, and that is where Salah knows he belongs.

He knows that is where he should be playing his football, because he has earned that right.

Appearances in two Champions League finals, albeit one only briefly, and winning the Premier League has taught him that he deserves to rub shoulders with the very best.

The journey he has been on with Liverpool means that whatever statements get thrown his way these days – and the current one that he is the best player in the world right now is certainly deserved – he is likely to live up to them.








Salah is in incredible form this season
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Image:

Icon Sport via Getty Images)


That wasn’t the case some three years ago when comparisons with the likes of Lionel Messi and Sunday’s opponent Cristiano Ronaldo were being rejected out of hand by the man himself.

“I don’t want to say I am happy with these kind of comparisons,” Salah told the Egyptian TV channel ON E back in 2018.

“Each of them has been at the top level for 10 or 11 years. Their performance level is stable.

“I need to maintain my performance levels high for many seasons. I hope I can do that. They are great players and hopefully I become happy with these comparisons.”








Ronaldo lies in wait for Salah at Old Trafford
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Image:

Manchester United via Getty Images)


He’s not going to say it out loud, and the passage of time also has something to do with it, but now you get the feeling that such comparisons would not be met with such a refusal. At their base level they are still overblown of course, but less so in this moment.

If you asked him now you’d likely get a smile and a laugh from a man who was recently asked if he’d ever scored a better goal than his stunner at Vicarage Road.

Yes, he said. A week earlier against Manchester City.

Another reason why he might enjoy the comparisons now is that at a time when his worth is being debated due to the ongoing contract situation, it is in Salah’s best interests to stress his importance. But he knows this, and so do his teammates and the Liverpool fans.

Old Trafford awaits again on Sunday, this time full of people and with Ronaldo lining up for the opposition.

Do it again here, against this team, in the presence of supporters and in front of this great in the No.7 shirt, and it’ll be another step on a seemingly unstoppable rise.

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