12 months on from Champions League heartbreak, a shot at redemption for Mohamed Salah

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By James Miller – @JamesMillernews

Mohamed Salah enjoyed one of the finest individual seasons ever seen in English football in the 2017/18 campaign, breaking numerous records and being rewarded with a trip to Kiev to face Real Madrid in the Champions League final for his efforts.

Devastatingly, his dream of lifting the most prestigious trophy club football was destroyed after picking up an agonising injury early on in the final – an incident that sparked controversy to say the least with questions be asked as to whether there was intent from his opponent Sergio Ramos. The footage was hard to watch with Salah in tears after the pair appeared to lock arms in a tumble to the ground.

Whether it was deliberate or not, it led to Salah’s withdrawal and the loss of arguably the Reds’ key man in the most important game of the season. His teammates attempted to win the trophy for him but, after two howlers from Loris Karius, it was always going to be tough.

Earlier this season, Salah spoke of his dream to lift the Champions League at some stage in his career but actually dismissed the potential of it being this season, prioritising the fans and their hope of a long-awaited Premier League title.

“I’ll be honest with you, the most prestigious competition for me is the Champions League.

“But the dream for the city and the club is the league. So, I’m happy to sacrifice my dream for their dream but if we win both that would be great, and this is what we are trying to do.”

– Mohamed Salah speaking at a news conference in March.

At the time of Salah’s comments, it could be argued there was greater chance of a Premier League triumph with the Reds facing a tough trip to Munich knowing any form of defeat would end their hopes for another season.

Factoring in that Liverpool had lost every away game in this year’s competition prior to travelling to Germany, you would have been forgiven for being nervous. Nevertheless, a superb display and the better side qualified. It may just have been the catalyst for another fine season in Europe.

Unfortunately, the 26-year-old wasn’t able to help deliver what the fans crave most in a Premier League trophy as the Reds fell marginally short behind an elite Manchester City side who continue to smash domestic records.

Although, there is still hope that we can help deliver Salah what he has dreamed of since being a young boy, and what will be the club’s sixth Champions League success since their first, a little more than four decades ago.

Saturday, will see the Reds walk out in Madrid looking to turn last year’s frowns upside down against Spurs. Since arriving at the club Salah has a pretty solid return against Mauricio Pochettino’s men, scoring three goals in four games against them.

He hasn’t contributed to a goal against them this season, but he will still present a major threat against the Londoners. The Egyptian has been influential for the Reds after joining from Roma and causes numerous problems even when he is considered to be ‘out of form’.

The truth is Salah has set himself such high standards off the back of consecutive Premier League Golden Boots that his ability comes into question should he have an off-period.

Simple facts are that he is one of the best players in the world right now and, with a remarkable return of 66 goals and 29 assists across all competitions in just 103 games for Liverpool, he will no doubt prove a key player should Liverpool finally secure that elusive first trophy under Jürgen Klopp at the Wanda Metropolitano.

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