Liverpool attacker Mohamed Salah has admitted that he was left feeling “shocked” to finish seventh in the race for the Ballon d’Or in 2021.
PSG and Argentina forward Lionel Messi won the award for the seventh time last year. He guided his country to their 15th Copa America title last year and this helped him edge out his rivals.
Robert Lewandowski came a close after his goalscoring exploits for Bayern Munich and Poland.
Chelsea midfielder Jorginho finished third. His claim was boosted by him winning the Champions League and European Championships.
Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante and Cristiano Ronaldo also were voted for more than Salah.
The Liverpool star responded well to this disappointment. He netted 31 goals in 51 appearances across all competitions in 2021/22.
Salah has revealed that winning the Ballon d’Or is “at the forefront” of his goals:
“It’s great to hear my name cited for the next Ballon d’Or. I don’t deny it, I want to be recognized as the best player in the world,” Salah said (via 90min).
“And the Ballon d’Or is at the forefront of my goals. It’s true that I was shocked by my 2021 ranking.”
Salah went onto suggest that his hopes of winning this year’s Ballon d’Or have been hampered by Liverpool’s defeat in the Champions League final:
“For this year, this defeat against Real Madrid [in the Champions League final] is certainly a handicap, even if I had a good match.
“But it does not cancel everything I have achieved for months. Let’s wait for the jury’s vote. If I am not Ballon d’Or in 2022, I will do everything to be next.”
Elsewhere, Football Insider are reporting that Aston Villa have ‘turned their attention to signing’ Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The Villans have already brought in Philippe Coutinho, Boubacar Kamara and Diego Carlos.
It is being reported that Gerrard is a ‘huge admirer’ of the experienced midfielder. He is now a ‘top priority’ for Villa.
They add that Gerrard ‘wants to use Oxlade-Chamberlain in an attacking role that can make use of his ability to score and create goals’.