Sunday,18 November, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1361, (21 - 27 September 2017)
Sunday,18 November, 2018
Issue 1361, (21 - 27 September 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Egyptian fans score online

Thanks to the votes of his supporters, Salah pips Messi and Ronaldo to award, reports Marawan Zayed

 

 

Are Egyptian football fans the most influential in the world? The answer is probably yes after another “achievement” for them and our superstar Mohamed Salah who was named best player of the week in the Champions League.

If you’re asking how Egyptian fans played a role in Salah winning this award, the answer is that it’s decided based on votes on the official UEFA website -- and here comes the power of Egyptian fans. Salah did have a brilliant game against Seville and managed to score Liverpool’s second goal which should have been the winning goal before his side conceded the equaliser 18 minutes from time to deny Salah and his teammates the first three points in their opening game of the group. However, Salah himself will be surprised to win the award given that the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, Harry Kane, Edinson Cavani, Neymar, John Stones and many other big names all played starring roles for their teams and all managed to collect maximum points from their games. Salah was nominated for the award alongside Messi, Ronaldo, James Rodriguez, Neymar, Lukaku, Kane and Shakhtar’s Taison. Neutral football fans surely predicted a straightforward win for Messi who scored two goals against Juventus as his Barca won 3-0 against the Italian giants. However, not only did Salah manage to beat Messi for the award but he even won it easily as he collected 51 per cent of the votes while Messi came second with only 20 per cent and Ronaldo third with 12 per cent despite also managing a brace against APOEL in his side’s 3-0 win.


Live poll results

Salah was the only candidate not on the winning team which raised some eyebrows as it seems that the UEFA wanted to test the power of Egyptian fans on the European stage after they proved their credentials in the English league when they helped Salah win Liverpool’s player of the month in August. And Egyptian fans were up to it with their unconditional support for Salah versus Messi and Ronaldo – two of the all-time greats. Salah seems to be heading to an historic season thanks to both his unbelievable talent and his fans back home.

Even though many fans will see it as unfair and unethical by Egyptian fans to vote for the star man week in week out in every single competition – even if he’s not the best – we’ve got to highlight that the voting process around the world was designed specifically to give all candidates a fair chance to win or lose based on the votes of the public so it all comes down to what people want at the end of the day.

Egyptian fans are surely more supportive than their counterparts elsewhere which can’t be considered unfair or unethical because the votes are there for everyone, so there is nothing wrong with it from an ethical point of view.

Salah has now scored two Champions League goals including the qualifiers and three Premier League goals in addition to two assists in just five starts with his new club as he’s quickly becoming Liverpool’s most important player alongside Sadio Mane who also started the season in explosive form.

Getting back to the power of Egyptian fans, Salah is really in for an historic season as long as he keeps performing on the field and gets nominated for awards throughout the season because fans back home will ensure he wins every single trophy he’s nominated for as long as it’s based on online votes. On Saturday, he proved himself again when he scored his third Premier League goal in five games to cancel out Scott Arfield opening goal as Liverpool were held to a home draw against Burnley on Saturday.

So let’s hope Mohamed Salah will keep on shining to give Egyptians such a chance. 

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