Should Mohammed Salah Have Won The Puskas Award?

September 25, 2018

Should Mohammed Salah Have Won The Puskas Award?

On the 24th of September Mohammed Salah won the Puskas award for his goal against Everton in the Premier League. Now I want to say that I do think Salah is a great player. As well as this isn’t an article completely going against Salah’s achievements in the game. But whether it is the right decision going forward allowing fans to hold such a major proportion of the vote in this competition.

Other Contenders

If you didn’t know already the Puskas award is given to the player who has scored the best goal throughout the year. Now when I looked at the other contenders for the this when they were announced I couldn’t help but notice some excellent contenders for the award and I couldn’t pick out one that I thought would definitely win it so it was an open playing field.

Before reading any further be sure to check out the rest of the Puskas award contenders via the Fifa website here.

Now looking into the other contenders, the immediate standout ones are Riley McGree, Gareth Bale, Benjamin Pavard and De Arrascaeta.┬áNow considering Olivier Giroud won the award last season for a similar goal to Riley McGree so I can see why he didn’t win the award. But for me in my opinion, Pavard and Bale’s goals are above Mohammed Salah’s goal. So I would still put Salah’s goal in the top 3 there. But I just can’t help but feel like I’ve seen the goal before and if it wasn’t Mohammed Salah and if it was someone like Saido Berahino that scored this, would this goal even be in the contenders? I mean Gareth Bale and Benjamin Pavard literally broke the internet when they scored their goals, they were plastered all over social media and were trending for ages.

Not Even Premier League Goal Of The Season

My confusion with this goal winning the award is this that it didn’t even win the Premier League goal of the season. The BBC voted for Jamie Vardy’s goal for Leicester against West Brom. Even the Premier League voted for Sofiane Boufal’s goal against West Brom for Southampton. Furthermore from this, Salah’s goal didn’t even win the goal of the month, instead, Jermain Defoe’s effort for Bournemouth against Crystal Palace took the goal of the month award. So I feel very confused that a goal that never won a domestic award can win a worldwide award. Salah was definitely one of the best players in the world this season and I do defend his nomination over Messi on this front.

Popularity Contest

It feels like this voting process has just been a huge popularity contest. There is no doubt that Mohammed Salah’s success in England has been great to watch (apart from when he’s banging them in against your team). But there is such a large fanbase for Mohammed Salah that it is arguably one of the biggest in the world if not the biggest. Considering the global brand of Liverpool and the Egyptian fans that adore him. So if I was someone like Lazaro Christodoulopoulos then I would consider it a write off because he doesn’t have the same global recognition as players like Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Mohammed Salah. So it takes away the credit for how good their goal is.

The best way forward for me from this is similar to the best player in the world award where the fan vote only counts for around 25% of the vote. This means that fans still get to have a say in the voting process and it creates a level playing field for all the players who are involved in the nominations process. But at the end of this, you still have to congratulate Mohammed Salah on the Puskas award win. I hope that the uproar regarding the vote doesn’t lose the integrity of his win as this is an award that many of the best players in the world can’t say they have won.

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