Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah have been central figures in the two most prolific attacking teams in Champions League history.
Liverpool’s front three of Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have scored a record 29 goals this season, eclipsing the previous best of 28 set by Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema in 2013/14 for Real Madrid.
On Saturday, these attacking trios will come face-to-face as Liverpool take on Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Kiev.
Ronaldo, despite enduring an early season drought, has now scored at least 50 goals in each of the past eight campaigns, while Salah has notched 44 goals in 52 games this term for club and country.
But Liverpool’s Croatian defender Dejan Lovren, who will be tasked with stopping ‘BBC’ — if, of course, Bale starts in the final — believes his teammate is more akin to Ronaldo’s great rival Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
“Mo Salah is a player who gives everything on the training ground,” Lovren told CNN Sport’s Christina Macfarlane. “And I would say he is more similar to (Lionel) Messi.
“He knows when is the right time and the right moment to accelerate or to speed the game up.
Based on current form, Lovren believes Salah has been one of the world’s top three best players.
“He’s shown that he fits in this team perfectly, he’s had an amazing season and he’s now, not without reason, the best striker in the world with 44 goals, said Lovren. “He’s one of the top three at the moment.”
With two of the world’s most feared strikers coming up against defenses which have continued to leak goals throughout the Champions League campaign and in their respective leagues, the smart money says there will be goals in Saturday’s final — and lots of them.
Following a tricky opening few months — Lovren suffered injury and a dip in form — the Croatian has enjoyed a resurgent second half of the season to become a key figure in Liverpool’s much-improved defense after the arrival of Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in January.