Despite his free-scoring form for Liverpool in 2021, Mohamed Salah has been sensationally excluded from the FIFA FIFPRO World XI squad – and his legions of fans across the globe aren’t happy about it.
The Liverpool ace has enjoyed yet another bumper year, scoring 21 goals in 22 appearances across all competitions this season along with 31 in 51 in the entirety of last season.
But it would seem his goalscoring heroics weren’t enough to impress FIFA after the annual 23-man shortlist of the world’s best squad of players was released.
Salah’s Liverpool teammates, Alisson Becker and Trent Alexander-Arnold – who the only Englishman on the list – made the cut after the shortlist was dropped to 23 rather than the usual 55 for the first time in 17 years.
⭐️ Here are the 23 nominees for the 2021 Men's FIFA FIFPRO #World11!
The winners will be announced on 17.01.2022.
— FIFPRO (@FIFPRO) December 14, 2021
Next month’s ‘The Best FIFA Football Awards’ will nominate a World XI from the shortlisted players.
The Egyptian King’s omission comes just weeks after he finished a disappointing seventh in the 2021 Ballon d’Or – another omission which sent ripples of anger through African football and beyond.
Chelsea have the most nominees from the Premier League with four: Edouard Mendy, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Romelu Lukaku, while Manchester United’s Portugal duo of Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo are also included.
Still wondering how Mo Salah was not selected in the FIFPro World Men's XI squad pic.twitter.com/8zLTxkYJiA
— GOAL (@goal) December 14, 2021
Premier League champions Manchester City are represented by Ruben Dias and Kevin De Bruyne and, despite having a tumultuous period by their high standards, Barcelona have four players on the list: Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Jordi Alba and Dani Alves.
Other absentees of note include Thiago Alcantara, Alphonso Davies, Virgil van Dijk, Joshua Kimmich and Sergio Ramos, all of whom were included in 2020 but dropped out of contention in 2021.
It is Salah’s snub which has the football world talking, given that he is considered by many to have been the standout Premier League player of the past year, even if the criteria deadline was this past August.
The only reason why Salah was not selected is simply because he's Egyptian and Egypt is in Africa, technically he's African. That's the only reason.
Take that away he had a better year than Lukaku and even Neymar.
African footballers deserve more respect than they get.
— Mr. Benz (@benjizuz) December 14, 2021
It's maddening how salah is not given his due respect . He is our messi at Liverpool a world class player . But head on and let your actions speak for themselves .
— Pushpdant Sharma (@PushpdantS) December 14, 2021
“The only reason why Salah was not selected is simply because he’s Egyptian and Egypt is in Africa, technically he’s African,” reacted one furious fan.
“That’s the only reason. Take that away he had a better year than Lukaku and even Neymar. African footballers deserve more respect than they get.“
“Because Salah is having a good 2021/2022 season, it is making people forget the selection was based on how these guys played last season.
“The Liverpool team wasn’t that brilliant. Yes, he’s been the best this season – but last season he was not,” argued another in support of his omission.
“Salah scored 28 goals and created nine assists in 20/21, but yeah,” a third shot back in riposte.
“It’s maddening how Salah is not given his due respect,” said another. “He is our Messi at Liverpool – a world-class player . But head on and let your actions speak for themselves.”
Salah’s sensational form this season has made him the current odds-on favorite to be named Premier League Player of the Season when the final ball is kicked in May, ahead of the likes of Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo and Reece James.
Twitter might just combust with rage should Salah’s goalscoring exploits continue without him being named English football’s standout player at the end of the season.