Cristiano Ronaldo admits Salah is a strong contender for the Balon d’Or

Cristiano Ronaldo believes Mo Salah could rival him and Messi for the Ballon d’Or, an award the Portugal star and Lionel Messi have dominated for more than a decade.

Not since Kaka in 2007 has a different player broken their stranglehold on the individual prize.

But Ronaldo admitted that Salah’s stunning 44-goal season with the Liverpool marks him out as a huge threat.

‘Mo Salah has been one of the revelations of the year,’ Ronaldo said.

‘Many people talk about the Cristiano Ronaldo-Messi battle but there are other players who have chances to enter the race (for Ballon d’Or). The Egyptian is one of them.’

Having line-up against the 25-year-old in Real Madrid’s 3-1 Champions League final victory, Ronaldo also hopes Salah recovers in time for the World Cup after suffering a shoulder injury.

‘I hope his injury in the final in Kiev doesn’t keep him out,’ the 33-year-old added.

There is a chance the pair could lock horns again in the last 16, with Egypt and Portugal in Group A and B respectively.

Ronaldo leads his country against Spain in a mouthwatering first clash of the tournament for Portugal on Friday.

Salah faces a race against time to be ready for Egypt’s opener against Uruguay on the same day.

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