Comparing Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
Mohamed Salah has arguably been the player of the season in the Premier League this season. Following his move from Roma last summer, the Egyptian has been an attacking wizard for Liverpool this campaign.
But how does he compare to the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, two of the perennial superstars in world football, in terms of performances this season? Both the players have ruled Europe throughout the years with their astonishing performances almost every season but Salah’s incredible breakout this campaign has led to a series of comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo and particularly, Lionel Messi.
As always, we will take the statistical route in order to compare these three attacking superstars so without further ado, let’s kick this off!
First and foremost, Mohamed Salah has undoubtedly been the most important player for his respective team this season, largely because Liverpool has lacked someone like him for years. Salah’s performance has often been a driving force in Liverpool’s excellent season so far.
The Egyptian has featured in 30 games in the league this season, scoring 28 goals, more than any other player in the league, whilst providing 9 assists, which is joint fourth-best in the league and bettered only by Man City’s assist masters in David Silva, Leroy Sane and Kevin de Bruyne.
Lionel Messi, on the other hand, started the season in an incredible fashion under new boss Ernesto Valverde and while the Argentinian has somehow faded in terms of scoring prowess, it’s fair to say that his overall contribution to Barcelona has been monumental.
Messi has scored 25 goals in 28 matches along with 12 assists, meaning he’s been involved in more goals than any other player in La Liga this campaign – not that it’s a surprise, of course. However, even though the Rosario-born footballing superstar has been involved in almost the same number of goals as his Egyptian counterpart, Messi has been much more involved in Barcelona’s overall gameplay.
The La Masia graduate eclipses Mohamed Salah in almost every department this campaign. While his tally of 62 key passes is more than any other player in the Spanish top flight, Messi boasts of an impressive goal per 90 ratio of 1.03, which is significantly better than Salah’s 0.66 – which is by no means a bad score either!
As for Ronaldo, who plays much more of a central role and is known for his goalscoring prowess, unsurprisingly attains the best goal-per-90 ratio with 1.08.
Moreover, Ronaldo also acquires a better xG (expected goals) ratio of 1.03 compared to Messi’s 0.89 and Salah’s relatively low xG of 0.50 but that is because largely because of the fact that Madrid’s highly capable attackers create a plethora of chances for Ronaldo, week in week out, while the likes of Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah are deeper involved in the build-up game and chance creation for their respective teams, which is clearly reflected in their impressive xG build-up statistics in which Messi unsurprisingly leads the table while Salah lags largely because of Liverpool’s direct football.
At the end of the day, we can conclude that Lionel Messi is by far the most influential attacker among these three extremely talented players. Not only is the Argentine more involved in Barcelona’s overall gameplay but he is also very productive in front of goal, which makes him a perfect asset for the Catalans.
On the contrary, Cristiano Ronaldo’s rather one-sided role at Real Madrid under Zinedine Zidane has restricted him from taking part in his side’s chance creation but the Portuguese’s incredible goal-scoring prowess plays a huge part. Salah, who has been phenomenal this season, has also transformed into a world-class attacker. Although he may not be as good as Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, the Egyptian is still a very good attacker who is more than capable of making a huge difference for the Reds in the nigh future.