Ballon d’Or 2018: Salah, Mane Among Nominees

Liverpool FC of England duel of Mohammed Salah (from Egypt) and Senegalese international Sadio Mane are among the nominees for the 2018 Ballon d’Or.

In the same shortlist are England and Tottingham striker Harry Cane, Barcelona and Argentina star lionel Messi, Portugal and Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo and the Wales and Real Madrid of Spain forward Gareth Bale.

But the thirty-man list is dominated by Champions League winners Real Madrid, who have eight players nominated, including Croatia international Luka Modric.

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne are among eleven Premier League players on the list.

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero is a contender, as are Liverpool keeper Alisson and forward Roberto Firmino.

Paul Pogba, of Manchester United, Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris are also selected.

The African pair of Salah and Mane are the only contenders from the continent.

Last season, Salah’s superlative performance, in which he scored forty-four goals in all competitions for Liverpool, earned him a top-chart position in the EPL, as well as the African Player of the Year.

His Senegalese strike partner, Mane, also scored over a dozen goals for the Mersey side club, and both players were instrumental in their countries’ Russia-2018 World Cup qualification, although neither the Senegalese Teranga Lions nor the Pharaohs of Egypt made it beyond the first round.

The Ballon d’Or, first presented in 1956, is given to the best player of the year.

A ceremony to announce the winner of the prestigious award will take place in Paris, France, on December 3, when a women’s award will also be presented for the first time.

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Salah Confident Of Making World Cup Despite Shoulder Injury

Egypt’s Mohamed Salah is “confident” of being fit for the World Cup despite suffering a shoulder injury in Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid.

Salah was forced off in tears during the first half of the 3-1 loss in Kiev on Saturday, sparking fears he wouldn’t make it to next month’s World Cup.

The 25-year-old sustained the problem when he was dragged awkwardly to the turf following a challenge with Sergio Ramos, leading some to claim the Madrid defender had deliberately tried to injure Liverpool’s star forward.

Speaking after the final, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had described the injury as “serious” amid fears Salah had suffered a dislocated shoulder.

That would have ruled him out of Egypt’s first appearance in the World Cup since 1990.

Salah was pictured with his shoulder in a sling when he got off Liverpool’s plane at John Lennon Airport on Sunday.

But it now appears there is a good chance Salah will be able to join his country for the tournament in Russia.

“It was a very tough night, but I’m a fighter. Despite the odds, I’m confident that I’ll be in Russia to make you all proud,” Salah wrote on his official Twitter account on Sunday.

“Your love and support will give me the strength I need.”

Egypt’s team doctor Mohamed Abou El-Ela said in a statement that, according to information from Liverpool’s medical staff, Salah has sustained only ligament damage.

And, just as Salah tweeted his fitness update, fresh reports in Egypt claimed he had only suffered a strain in the shoulder ligaments and is expected to be back in action in three weeks.

AFP

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