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Mohamed Salah should have climbed higher in the Ballon d’Or table, says Jurgen Klopp, who praises ‘unlucky’ Virgil van Dijk ahead of Liverpool defender’s return to Everton in Merseyside Premier League clash


Jurgen Klopp revealed his surprise at Mohamed Salah’s position in the Ballon d’Or ballot.

Salah, who made an electric start to the season at Liverpool, placed seventh overall for the prize won by Lionel Messi.

Messi is alone with seven Ballon d’Ors to his name
AFP
Mohamed Salah should have climbed higher in the Ballon d'Or table, says Jurgen Klopp, who praises 'unlucky' Virgil van Dijk ahead of Liverpool defender's return to Everton in Merseyside Premier League clash
Salah finished behind Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Jorginho, Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante and Cristiano Ronaldo this year
AFP

Much has been said about the award recipient, with many saying Robert Lewandowski would have been a more deserving winner.

Klopp didn’t go so far as to say he thought Lewandowski should have won it, but believes it may have been Bayern Munich’s best chance to do so.

But it is certain that Salah should have finished higher than seventh.

On where Salah arrived in the Ballon d’Or standings, Klopp said: “To be honest I was surprised by his position.

“If you don’t give Lewandowski to him now, it’s hard to give him at all. But Mo should have been higher, definitely.

Mohamed Salah should have climbed higher in the Ballon d'Or table, says Jurgen Klopp, who praises 'unlucky' Virgil van Dijk ahead of Liverpool defender's return to Everton in Merseyside Premier League clash
Messi said Lewandowski deserved to receive the 2020 award, but many believe the Pole should have won it this year

Klopp was addressing the media ahead of Liverpool’s clash at Everton, the 239th edition of the bitter rivalry on Merseyside.

The same game last season was played with added villainy as Virgil van Dijk’s season ended when he suffered an ACL injury following a savage tackle from Jordan Pickford.

“The situation [of Van Dijk’s injury] was unlucky, ”Klopp added. “I haven’t seen that happen in another game since.

“Virg is very experienced. He just needs to be completely free from all things in his mind because of some problem in the past.

Mohamed Salah should have climbed higher in the Ballon d'Or table, says Jurgen Klopp, who praises 'unlucky' Virgil van Dijk ahead of Liverpool defender's return to Everton in Merseyside Premier League clash
Incredibly, Pickford was not even penalized for this challenge on Van Dijk
Getty Images – Getty

“He came back brilliantly. People are quick if things aren’t exactly the way they used to be. These judgments make no sense.

“He had time. Three games in a week, he looked good but we gave him a break. I’m not sure it’s necessary now for the next few games, but we do think about it every now and then.

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