Paul Lambert does not think Mohamed Salah is yet on a par with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Stoke are the latest side in the Egyptian’s sights as he looks to continue his record-breaking season. Salah netted his 42nd and 43rd goals of the campaign in the 5-2 Champions League victory against Roma on Tuesday and is the leading marksman in Europe.
But Lambert believes the consistent excellence of Messi and Ronaldo puts them on another level.
The Stoke boss said:
“The season he’s had has been phenomenal but I still think the best players on the planet are Ronaldo and Messi.
“The reason I say that is because they have done it season after season. But I don’t think anybody could have predicted the season Salah has had.”
Talk of Salah potentially becoming the first Premier League player in a decade to win the Ballon d’Or has been growing, with Ronaldo and Messi having won it five times each over the last 10 years.
“He must be in the running, but again, he’s in an era with those two in front of him, so it’s incredibly tough,” said Lambert.
Stoke head to Anfield desperate for three points in their increasingly futile-looking fight against relegation.