Liverpool: Mohammad Salah has spoken of his pride at becoming only the third player in Liverpool’s history to score 40 goals in a season but said individual records and accolades are meaningless compared with winning the Champions League.
The Egypt international maintained his phenomenal strike rate on Saturday when he scored his 30th Premier League goal of the campaign in the 3-0 home win against Bournemouth.
Salah’s exquisite header beyond Asmir Begovic was also his 40th goal in all competitions — a figure previously achieved at Liverpool by only Roger Hunt (1961-62) and Ian Rush (1983-84 and 1986-87). No Liverpool player has reached the milestone faster than Salah, however, who has scored 40 goals in 45 games for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Liverpool’s summer signing from Roma is firmly on course to win the Golden Boot and player of the season awards but admits he would swap them all for victory in the Champions League.
Salah, who faces his former club in the semi-finals, said: “It means a lot. I try to score every game to help the team and to get the points. That is the most important thing for us, that we play as a team, as 11 players, and so each goal for me is to help the team. It is a great feeling, of course it is a great feeling, but in the end I am just happy to score and help the team. If I had a choice between the Champions League and the Golden Boot, then of course it would be the Champions League, no doubt the Champions League. To win the Champions League is huge for everyone. I don’t care about the rest.”
The Liverpool forward is five goals ahead of Tottenham’s Harry Kane in the race to be the Premier League’s leading scorer and, despite targeting the club’s sixth European Cup success, admits the individual honour is a motivation. “It is in my mind,” said Salah. “I cannot lie, it is in my mind. But you can see against Bournemouth that everyone in the team tries to pass the ball to me to help me. I am happy to have this feeling, you feel all the team want to support you and want to help you score goals. I am also sure that Tottenham’s players try to help Harry Kane and also Manchester City’s try to help Sergio Aguero. It’s like that but in the end we play as a team.”