Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says you cannot really compare Mo Salah to Ronaldo because the Real Madrid man has scored “about 47,000 goals”.
Next week’s Champions League final between Liverpool and Madrid has been billed as a battle for the Ballon d’Or but Klopp is understandably keen to steer talk away from individual battles.
“We are a team in a team game,” he tells The Guardian. “It is not about having the better individual, usually it is about playing the better football, and for that to happen you need all the others as well.
“Mo has played a fantastic season but even he would admit Cristiano has been performing at that level for years. His numbers are crazy, he has been 15 years at the top and scored about 47,000 goals, but I still don’t like making comparisons between players.
“At the time when Pelé was at his peak people didn’t go around comparing him to anyone else, they just thought he was the best and were glad to have him. Now we have Messi and Ronaldo. They have dominated football for such a long time even though there are so many other good players.
“They are both similar in the way that in the final moment they are very often in the right position to score a goal, and that is the most difficult thing in the world to do. That’s why they are where they are. Their awards are well deserved, because when they stop playing we will miss them, 100%.”
Klopp also addressed the notion of Liverpool as underdogs, facing a Real Madrid side trying to claim their third successive Champions League.
“Yes they are favourites, they know everything, they can write their own scripts because they have [now] experienced it four times in the last five years,” Klopp says.
“There have been three dominant clubs in the last few years, and we are facing one of them. I have no problem with the situation and I don’t feel like an underdog. Liverpool were absolutely not favourites in 2005, and that was before they went 3-0 down.”