Mohamed Salah is officially the 19th winner of the Golden Foot Award.
On a night where Lionel Messi lifted the Ballon d’Or trophy for a record-breaking seventh time, it was easy to miss that Liverpool‘s very own skilful forward was also collecting silverware of his own.
Due to health restrictions in Monaco, Salah wasn’t able to attend the Champion’s Gala personally, but his wife was on hand to collect the prestigious prize that has been won by so many legends.
Salah wins Golden Foot Award
Winning the Golden Foot Award means that the player’s footprints will take pride of place on the Champions Promenade in Monaco alongside the imprints of Pele, Diego Maradona and many more.
Reacting to his historic triumph, Salah remarked: “I am always very happy when I win an award. The Golden Foot Award has a special meaning for me, because it has been won by many legends of world football. For this reason, I consider it a truly special award”.
And Salah faced incredibly tough competition to come out on top with Messi, Gerard Pique, Robert Lewandowski, Giorgio Chiellini, Neymar, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Aguero, Karim Benzema and Romelu Lukaku rounding off the nominees in 2021.
Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd Match Reaction (Football Terrace)
Notoriously difficult prize to win
Now, that’s all well and good, but how does the Golden Foot Award actually work? Besides, it’s an accolade so notoriously tough to get your hands on that even Messi hasn’t taken the prize yet.
The Golden Foot prides itself as the ‘only award that can be won only once in a career’ with only active players over the age of 28 years old eligible to get their hands on the golden footprints.
Sports media from around the world narrow an initial selection of 50 candidates by the Golden Foot Commission down to 10, before football fans have the final say as part of an online voting system.
Who are the previous winners?
And it’s clear that Salah had plenty of online support behind him to receive the 19th prize when you consider that Messi, Lewandowski and Benzema all finished above him in the Ballon d’Or stakes.
So, who does Salah join on the decorated list of former Golden Foot winners? Well, dear reader, the answer is countless footballing icons and you can be sure to check them out in all their glory below:
2003 – Roberto Baggio
2004 – Pavel Nedved
2005 – Andriy Shevchenko
2006 – Ronaldo Nazario
2007 – Alessandro del Piero
2008 – Roberto Carlos
2009 – Ronaldinho
2010 – Francesco Totti
2011 – Ryan Giggs
2012 – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
2013 – Didier Drogba
2014 – Andres Iniesta
2015 – Samuel Eto’o
2016 – Gianluigi Buffon
2017 – Iker Casillas
2018 – Edinson Cavani
2019 – Luka Modric
2020 – Cristiano Ronaldo
2021 – Mohamed Salah
So many legends, but no Messi
Gosh. That’s quite the list of legends.
Looking at world-class star after world-class star really goes to show just how tough it is to win the Golden Foot and time is ticking for Messi to win over the fans for a place on the roll of honour.
Besides, you know it’s one of the toughest awards to win in football when you have the most Ballon d’Or triumphs of any male footballer in history, but still can’t quite get your hands on the prize.
No doubt that supporters will seek to ensure that Messi does join the Golden Foot alumni in the years to come as he nears retirement, but they certainly are chancing their arm by leaving it late.
Then again, when we’re talking about a player who’s lifting a Ballon d’Or trophy at 34 years old, perhaps we shouldn’t worry too much about the idea of him tailing off any time soon.
So, congratulations to Salah as the 19th winner of the Golden Foot Award so difficult that even Messi hasn’t been able to lift it just yet. We can’t wait to see who will come out on top in 2022…