Mohamed Salah once again delivered a show-stopping performance for Liverpool, as Jurgen Klopp’s side ruthlessly romped into a 5-0 lead against Roma on Tuesday night.
Though the Italian side clawed two goals back at Anfield, giving Eusebio Di Francesco’s side a glimmer of hope ahead of the return leg in Rome, it was Liverpool’s breathless attacking assault which captured the imagination of the Kop, and most of the headlines.
Salah was once again at the center of the goals, converting two stunning efforts to give Liverpool a 2-0 lead at half time against his old side. After the match, Steven Gerrard delivered a provocative verdict on Liverpool’s Egyptian star.
The Anfield legend, acting as a pundit on the game for BT Sport, asserted that “without a shadow of a doubt, he’s the best player on the planet right now”.
Gerrard’s claim has certainly caused a stir, as the ex-Liverpool midfielder’s assertion audaciously put Salah above global superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in his current pecking order of modern greats.
“He’s in the form of his life”, proclaimed a buoyant Gerrard. “It’s difficult to compare him to Ronaldo and Messi because they’ve done it so long and they’ve been consistent, year in year out, but without a shadow of a doubt he’s the best player on the planet right now”.
Gerrard’s comments were bold, and of course in favor of the star man of the club to which his allegiance is still very strong, but may be deemed reasonable considering Salah’s consistent run of unstoppable form this season.
Salah’s latest exploits of two goals and two assists in an attacking masterclass performance against his previous employers only adds further weight to what has been an incredible campaign for the Egyptian wing wizard.
The ex-Chelsea and Roma forward now has 31 goals from 33 Premier League appearances this season, with his 10 goals in 11 games in the Champions League now further escalating his status among the world’s best at present.
In terms of being considered alongside such stellar names as Ronaldo and Messi, much depends on consistency and, inevitably, on trophies.
Salah is still in his maiden season in a Liverpool shirt, so it is too early to judge the consistency of his form in comparison to the decade-spanning dominance of Ronaldo and Messi in Real Madrid and Barcelona shirts respectively.
Trophywise, Salah will have to wait until next season to launch another attempt at domestic glory with Liverpool, though the 5-2 win over Roma on Tuesday night means Klopp’s team now have one foot in the Champions League final.
Crowning Salah’s spectacular individual season with a Champions League winners medal would go a long way towards justifying Gerrard’s claims, as the Egyptian’s unstoppable contributions would then truly place him among European football’s elite individuals.