Twitter Wars: Mohamed Salah is king, but yet to overtake Neymar

Football is on a break for a few more weeks, but the transfer window and the banter between the fans haven’t taken a back seat, not even for a few moments. The Twitterverse has been rampant with such playful banter among the fans, discussing players, team strategies, and the spoils of the upcoming season, and amidst this swirling chaos, a rather heated debate has come up once again. 

A Twitter thread has made the mistake of pitching Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah up against the ever-green Paris Saint-Germain’s forward, Neymar Jr, comparing the two behemoths of the game based on their recent form, performances, and the overall impact that the two stalwarts continue to have on the pitch. 

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The fireworks are aplenty when the respective fans make the case for their players, just like when both guys take the field and mesmerize us with their footballing abilities. But weighing in the pros and cons of both Salah and Neymar, there emerges a winner but only with the slightest of margins. 

SAME AGE. SAME CAREER?

Neymar and Salah are both 30 years old. But the Brazilian was among the top 10 list of the Ballon d’Or contenders in 2011 at a mere age of 18, including the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi, and Andres Iniesta while still playing for Santos. The news of his flamboyant abilities had reached the upper echelons of the football world order and a move to Barcelona in 2013 only certified his greatness, where a lethal strike partnership with Luis Suarez and Messi resulted in an unprecedented 2014/15 season.  

Salah, however, struggled for playing time at Chelsea before coming to terms with his abilities at Liverpool. It was only in 2017 when Jurgen Klopp brought him to Anfield that the Egyptian believed there was more to him than he was told. 

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At this juncture, Neymar was already among the top three footballers in the world while Salah was about to wake up from his cryo sleep.

RECENT FORM & PERFORMANCES

Anyone who has recently started watching football would be in awe of Salah while hearing from the eternal football fans about Neymar’s greatness at Barcelona and his impeccable abilities with the ball at his feet.

It’s no doubt that Salah has endured more rewarding seasons these past few years. The Premier League, Champions League, domestic titles, three golden boots in the toughest league in the world while Neymar’s much talked about move to PSG has only withered away with a few Ligue 1 titles and Champions League disappointments. 

Salah has blossomed as of late, with many calling him one of the best Premier league has ever seen, while the Brazilian has failed to deliver the European glory which he promised upon his arrival in Paris. But another big factor that has kept Neymar from fulfilling his potential at PSG is the frequency of injuries, with players in the French league adamantly fouling him to keep him at bay. 

Even then, the Brazilian racked up 77 Goals/Assists under PSG’s former coach Thomas Tuchel in just 65 games while taking his team to a Champions League final in 2020. 

OVERALL IMPACT

Salah has been off the charts lately. His availability and his precision to propel his team forward have made him a fan favourite, a quality that Neymar has failed to get himself accustomed to lately. 

But we did not invent football five years ago when Mo Salah took the field for the Reds. Neymar had ended his successful chapter at Barcelona and came to a new rocky terrain of PSG, hoping to build a legacy of his own. Progress has been slow, but the Brazilian looks prepared for the long haul.

As for Salah, he is special but to dethrone Neymar as someone who many believe is still better than him, the Egyptian will have to continue to build his legacy that should only be equalled in dreams.