Liverpool great Ian Rush says Mohamed Salah has outshone Champions League final opponent Cristiano Ronaldo during an incredible record-breaking season. The Egyptian forward goes into Saturday’s showpiece against defending champions Real Madrid in Kiev needing an unlikely four goals to beat Rush’s Liverpool goals record for a single season.
Salah currently has 44 goals, three short of Rush’s mark from the 1983/84 campaign, when Liverpool won the European Cup, First Division and League Cup treble. “If he beats my record I would actually bow down to him,” Rush, a Liverpool club ambassador, said.
“To score four goals in a final would be an incredible achievement. Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez were amazing in their first seasons at Liverpool. But I have to say Salah’s been even better than them, not only his goals and assists but his all-round game. What I like about him is that he’s such a humble guy — if someone’s in a better position he passes the ball.”
Salah became the most expensive player in Liverpool history last year when he joined from Roma in an initial £37mn ($45mn) deal, although January signing Virgil van Dijk has since taken the record. But the 25-year-old has proved a bargain, with 11 of his goals coming in the club’s march to the Champions League final.
He won the golden boot with 32 goals, becoming the highest scorer in a 38-game Premier League season.
And Rush has echoed those who believe Salah should be crowned world player of the year if Liverpool become European champions. “The two best players in the world over a long time, without doubt, are Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi,” Rush said. “But over the last season Salah has been the best player. He played a huge role in helping Egypt to the World Cup and what he’s achieved at Liverpool has been amazing. If Liverpool win the Champions League he deserves the best player award, 100%,” he added.
Man Utd fan McIlroy backs bitter rivals Liverpool in Kiev final
Irish golf star and Manchester United fan Rory McIlroy is hoping Liverpool are crowned European champions for the sixth time on Saturday. The 29-year-old conceded that as a United supporter he should hate Jurgen Klopp’s side but he was prepared to go against type for the clash in Kiev with holders Real Madrid.
“As much as I’m a United fan, and United fans are supposed to hate Liverpool, I think it would be great to see a British team win, hopefully. I think it’s great that a British team’s in the final, and look, if Liverpool can start off the match like they did against Roma that first leg, they have got a good chance,” he said.
McIlroy is bidding to get his season back on track at the PGA Championship at Wentworth which gets underway today. The PGA title winner in 2014 had not gone completely off message talking football as he had played in the Pro-Am tournament with three former United greats Teddy Sheringham, Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick.
However, in what he hopes is not repeated when he addresses the golf ball his attempted chip onto the green from around 80 yards with a football came up short — as did Sheringham’s and Scholes’s.
“Unfortunately mine didn’t make it to the green,” said McIlroy. “I think that was the first football I kicked since 2015. Yeah, not great. Not that that’s an excuse.”
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