Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah has admitted that he was ‘shocked’ to finish no higher than seventh in the 2021 Ballon d’Or rankings.
Last year’s award was won by Lionel Messi – the seventh time he had won – after leading Argentina to the Copa America and scoring Barcelona’s impressive numbers.
Top scorer Robert Lewandowski finished second alongside Italy’s Jorginho and Chelsea midfielder finished in the final.
Mohamed Salah finished seventh away, under Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, and Cristiano Ronaldo despite starting the 2021/22 world-class club season.
Speaking to L’Equipe, the Egyptian midfielder revealed that he was expecting a top finish.
“It’s great to hear my name mentioned in the next Ballon d’Or. I don’t deny it, I want to be recognized as the best player in the world,” he said.
“And the Ballon d’Or is at the forefront of my goals. Of course, I was surprised by my 2021 rankings.”
Mohamed Salah added that he intended to do so in 2022 by winning his first Ballon d’Or award.
“This year, this defeat against Real Madrid [in the UEFA Champions League final] is a disability, even if I play well. But it doesn’t take away everything I’ve achieved for months. Let’s wait for the judge’s vote. If I’m not the Ballon d’Or in 2022, I’ll do my best to follow suit.”
The Liverpool striker was also asked if he felt he could be a factor in winning the award.
“Such an award given to Egypt could have a profound impact on the Middle East and Africa,” he said. “Hundreds of millions of people in these countries would realize that they can do strange things.
“Because I, myself, coming out of Egypt, have succeeded. One of my goals is to make the people of the Middle East realize that nothing is impossible for them. d’Or in Egypt. “