Peter Crouch has backed Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah as top contenders for the Ballon d’Or as the two aim to help Liverpool achieve an unprecedented quadruple.
The African duo went head-to-head earlier in the year as Senegal took on Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations final.
Mane missed a penalty early in the match, but he redeemed himself in the penalty shootout after extra-time, scoring the decisive and final penalty to secure his country’s first AFCON.
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For club, the duo have already won the Carabao Cup after Liverpool triumphed over Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea at Wembley Stadium.
Liverpool are looking to build on this season’s trophy haul. They’ll face Chelsea again in the FA Cup final next week and are currently one point behind Manchester City in the league with four match weeks to go.
Tonight, they’ll hope to finish off Villarreal in the Champions League semi-final, with the Reds 2-0 up on aggregate.
Both Mane and Salah have greatly contributed to Liverpool’s success this season since signing with the club.
The two have 50 goals between them this season in all competitions, meaning they've scored about 37% of Liverpool's goals in 2021/22.
Earlier in the week, Jurgen Klopp unsurprisingly backed Sadio Mane should Liverpool go on and win the Champions League saying: “He's played an outstanding season.”
Peter Crouch has backed Klopp’s assessment on the pair. Speaking to Paddy Power, the former England international and Liverpool player said.
"Mane’s a great shout. He’s won the AFCON already, and if he goes on to win the Champions League, the Premier League and if Liverpool completes the quadruple then it would almost certainly have to go to a Liverpool player, and then Salah and Mane are your standouts for it."
Since coming back from AFCON, Mane has been in scintillating form, scoring decisive goals for the Reds. In the past few weeks, Klopp has opted to play Mane more centrally, which has clearly been beneficial.
Salah had a great start to the season, becoming the highest-scoring African player in Premier League history after his hat-trick against Manchester United at Old Trafford in late October.
After AFCON, his goal scoring form slightly petered out, but as of late, he’s been back amongst the goals and assists, finding his form against Manchester United in the reverse fixture by assisting Mane and scoring a brace himself.
With 35 goals and assists in the Premier League this season, Salah was named the Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association for the second time, having first picked up the trophy in 2018.
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