If Mohamed Salah is not the best player in the world right now, who is?
Best player in the world... RIGHT NOW.
Such was the reaction to Mohamed Salah and his latest attacking masterclass, against Manchester City, that the superlatives were being tossed about left, right and centre.
The Egyptian may have been kept relatively quiet in the first half against the league champions, but he came to the fore as Liverpool pressed forward, upped the tempo and remembered who they were.
Salah provided a superb assist for Sadio Mané's opener and then went to town on the City defence to make it 2-1:
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 3, 2021
The game ended in a draw after City responded with another equaliser through Kevin De Bruyne [we'll get to him later] and his deflected strike.
Social media had already let loose on the proclamations, and disagreements, by the time Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports that Salah was the best player in 'the world, or European football, at the moment'. Micah Richards attested he was 'best in the league' but did not go as far as declaring the 29-year-old as the world's best.
"That is world-class," Carragher declared as replays of that Salah strike rolled. "He is world-class."
No-one is arguing that point, but saying Salah is the best in the world is always going to kick off a mighty debate. Even by saying 'right now', it doesn't make it any clearer. What is 'right now'? On Sunday, October 3, 2021? A two-week window? Best player in the world so far this season?
Salah has certainly started the season well. He has scored nine times and provided three assists in nine Liverpool appearances so far.
The unanswerables, though, make the debate all the better. It is like arguing if Michael Jordan or LeBron James are better, despite them playing in different eras. It's like asking who the pound-for-pound best boxer is when we know they'll never fight.
What were are asking today is - and you can help us out by replying on our social media pages - if Mo Salah is not the best player in the world [so far this season], who is?
Here are a few of the other lads pushing him close.
Kevin De Bruyne
One of the silkiest players in the game and able to unlock a defence with a range of sublime passing and crosses. Steps up [as evidenced against Liverpool] with big goals too.
Helped Argentina to Copa America glory before returning to Europe and moving from Barcelona to PSG. Was eased into the season by Mauricio Pochettino but his goal against Manchester City is evidence that he is coming back to his world-topping best.
We could have easily gone with Jorginho here [cue another debate!] but went with this Italy midfielder that really came of age at Euro 2020.
36-years-old now and has already pilfered five goals in six games for Manchester United as well as scoring two late goals for Portugal to break Irish hearts in a World Cup qualifier.
Erling Braut Haaland
11 goals for Borussia Dortmund, so far, this season with three assists too. Has also rattled in five goals for Norway as they push for automatic qualification for the World Cup.
A true inspiration for Italy during their march to Euro 2020 victory. Himself and Virgil Van Dijk, now that he is fit again, would be right up there as the best defenders in world football.
Had his best ever scoring return last season [42 goals from 47 club games] and looked unstoppable, at times, during Euro 2020. Has not set the new season alight, but a player capable going on a streak.
World Player of the Year for 2020 and breaking goalscoring records every second week. Scored 48 in 40 club games for Bayern, last season, and already has 13 in 10 this season. Has scored nine in nine for Poland this year, too.
Maybe not quite at 'Best in the World' level yet, but a serious prospect and a future contender for the crown. Was Italy's spark at Euro 2020 and is starting to hum again for Juventus.