Liverpool s Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring their side s sixth goal during the Champions League Group A soccer match between Rangers and Liverpool at Ibrox stadium in Glasgow, Scotland, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022. AP
Earlier in August, the 30-year-old Egypt skipper Salah was named in a 30-strong list for the prestigious Ballon d'Or award. This year's ceremony will take place on Monday 17 October at the Theatre du Chatalet in Paris, France.
“Salah is already among the first five or six nominated players for the Ballon d’Or this year as he made various achievements in the last season 2021/2022 and was also voted as the best player in the Premier League,” Ferry told Egyptian TV Channel MBC Masr on Friday.
“There are two negative points against Salah; the first is that he didn’t win the African Cup of Nations title and also that he didn’t qualify with his national team for the World Cup this year, but it think that he has the qualities to be among the first three in the Ballon d’Or ranking or even more,” he added.
Salah is the only Egyptian player ever to be nominated for the prestigious award, which was established in 1956.
He was nominated for the award two times, finishing sixth in 2018 and fifth in 2019. The award was not issued in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ferry said he believes that Salah has played an important role in spreading the popularity of the Ballon d’Or in the Middle East, adding that the Pharaohs star winger has big chances to win the prize.
“Salah is an exceptional player and one day he will win the Ballon d’Or. It is possible to see him winning the prize soon as he has all the needed qualities,” Ferry explained.
“This wonderful player will help in achieving more brightness for the Ballon d’Or, especially in the Middle East and Arab World, as he is really a real icon.
“Former Egypt great player Mahmoud ‘Bibo’ El Khatib deserved to win the prize in the eighteenth, but the prize was only given to European players at the time before changing the regulations in 1995. Also, after that there was Hossam Hassan who shined with Egypt at the 1998 World Cup, but France star Zinedine Zidane won the title at the time after winning the World Cup title,” the France Football editor-in-chief said.
Salah enjoyed another stellar season with Liverpool in 2021-22, finishing as the Premier League's joint top scorer with 23 goals.
All in all, he netted 31 goals and provided 16 assists to help Liverpool win the domestic FA and League Cups and reach the European Champions League final, which they lost to Real Madrid.
He kicked off the new season in style, scoring eight goals in 13 appearances in all competitions so far.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)