Man Utd vs Liverpool: Comparing Cristiano Ronaldo & Mo Salah's prime Premier League seasons

  • Kobe Tong
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Liverpool's Mohamed Salah is one of the greatest players in Premier League history.

There, we said it, but surely there isn't much of a debate anymore with Salah's latest hot-streak simply confirming that he's one of the most talented footballers to ever play in the division.

Marry that to the fact that he's won the Premier League Golden Boot twice - as well as breaking the scoring record for a 38-game season - and you'll see exactly why Salah is deserving of icon status.

Salah vs Ronaldo

And the only direction for the Liverpool star is up, up, up because he already boats a remarkable record of 12 goals in just 11 games in all competitions across the 2020/21 campaign. Madness.

So, bearing all of that in mind, we dare suggest that it isn't outrageous to compare Salah to none other than Cristiano Ronaldo when we're talking about the Premier League.

Naturally, Ronaldo would blow Salah out of the water if we ever factored in his Real Madrid career, but there are quite a few comparisons that can be drawn between their respective spells in England.

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Incredible Premier League stats

Ronaldo has scored 87 goals and provided 34 assists across 201 Premier League appearances, while Salah has amassed 104 goals and 38 assists in 166 games. Not a million miles apart, right?

Well, true, but it's important to remember that although Salah had his infamously tricky Chelsea spell, Ronaldo had far more time in England's top-flight outside of his prime years.

As such, taking their Premier League careers as a whole is weighted in Salah's favour, so what if we narrowed the search to their greatest ever seasons in the division?

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Comparing Salah and Ronaldo's prime seasons

That, dear readers, is where things get interesting because Salah's 2017/18 season and Ronaldo's 2007/08 campaign have more in common than simply their position in each decade.

With both players in their early twenties, bagging over 30 Premier League goals and catching the eye of the Ballon d'Or, the comparison is just as fascinating as it is justified, so let's dig even deeper.

We used the official player comparison statistics tool on the Premier League website to pit 2017/18 Salah up against 2007/08 Ronaldo and the results give us plenty to unpack. Check them out below:

Overview

So, there we have it, Salah had the better season with more goals and more assists, right? Well, no, actually. Hold your horses for a second because let's unpack the situation in a bit more depth.

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Attacking

Suddenly things got a bit tastier, didn't they? In some respects, Ronaldo was actually more lethal than Salah by way of having a better goal per game and minute per goal ratio.

But in other respects, he really wasn't because Salah actually managed his superior goal-scoring tally from fewer shots and therefore had a better conversion rate than his United rival.

They both scored the same amount of goals with their weaker foot, but Ronaldo bagged more free-kicks and headed goals as well as scoring more often from outside the penalty area.

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Team-play

For the statistics that we have available on both players, Ronaldo probably sneaks the win despite having amassed fewer assists by way of topping the passes, crosses and through ball ranks.

Oh, and he was also dispossessed fewer times than the Liverpool star.

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Defending

Woof. We don't even need to explain that this is a comprehensive victory for Ronaldo.

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Who wins? Salah... maybe

So, who comes out on top? Well, that's actually a pretty difficult question to answer because it depends on what you're looking for, but we dare suggest that Salah sneaks ahead by a hair.

While Salah might not have won a Ballon d'Or quite like Ronaldo, he produced more goals from fewer shots and just as many weak-footed efforts and outdid the United man for assists to boot.

That being said, just as easily as you could argue that Salah relied less on penalties for goals, you could point to the fact that Ronaldo achieved it all in fewer games. It's swings and roundabouts.

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However, what we can all agree on is that Ronaldo and Salah's finest ever Premier League seasons are some of the best that the division has ever seen - and hopefully there's still even more to come.

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