Mohamed Salah will hope that a star showing in the Champions League final can help him to overtake Karim Benzema in the race for the Ballon d’Or 2022.
Having been usurped late in the day for the PFA Player of the Year prize won by Kevin De Bruyne, Salah is all too aware of the recency bias often attached to football’s biggest individual prizes.
Going into Saturday’s Champions League final in Paris, the Egyptian King has drifted out to a best price 10/1 to win the Ballon d’Or 2022 (6/1 worst odds), for which Real Madrid’s Benzema remains a hot favourite at a general 1/3 (best price 7/20 through oddschecker).
Last week, we brought to your attention this treble for the final weekend of Premier League action, an 8/1 shot for Salah to miss out on the Premier League title, as well as lose the PFA Player of the Year prize to Manchester City’s De Bruyne and the Golden Boot to Heung-min Son.
That 8/1 treble would have paid out, albeit at reduced odds as Salah did at least rescue a share of the Golden Boot prize after scoring in a second half cameo for Liverpool against Wolves.
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A week on and there might be a chance for Salah to turn the tables with a late show of his own to pip the French favourite to the Ballon d’Or prize. Benzema’s dominance at the top of the market owes mostly to his stunning set of performances in the Champions League knockout rounds, taking his competition record for the season to 15 goals in 11 matches.
Since the start of March, his Champions League exploits alone include a hat-trick to overturn a first leg deficit against PSG in the round of 16, a hat-trick at Stamford Bridge in the quarter-final first leg, a further brace against the Blues in the second leg, two more against Manchester City in the semi-final first leg and the decisive penalty to finish off Pep Guardiola’s side at the Bernabeu.
However, Salah’s season has not been short of high points either. He already has 31 goals in all competitions and a domestic cup double in the bag, so can he produce one last performance to turn the tables on Benzema in the Ballon d’Or voting?
Ballon d’Or Odds:
|Player||Best Price||Worst Price|
|Kevin De Bruyne||33/1||8/1|