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Salah belongs in Ballon d'Or mix with Messi and Ronaldo - Lovren

ESPN were in the Egyptian capital of Cairo as Liverpool fans react to their 5-2 Champions League first leg victory against AS Roma at Anfield.

LIVERPOOL -- Dejan Lovren believes Mohamed Salah deserves to be in running to win the Ballon d'Or if he maintains his excellent goalscoring form.

Salah scored his 42nd and 43rd goals of the season in all competitions on Tuesday as he netted twice against his former side Roma during Liverpool's 5-2 win in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal tie.

Michael Owen in 2001 was the last Liverpool player to win the Ballon d'Or, while Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres have both finished third in the years since.

After being named PFA Player of the Year on Sunday, Salah is currently on course claim the European Golden Boot crown, with the Egyptian four points clear of Lionel Messi and Ciro Immobile.

"He is becoming the superstar," Lovren told reporters. "It looks easy what he does but it is very difficult. Maybe I couldn't look into the future in preseason and think he could do this.

"We help him, the manager helps and this style of play helps him a lot. He didn't play that style before at Basel, Chelsea or Roma. They had different styles and this style suits him perfectly.

"Hopefully he will just stay injury free and that is the most important thing. And if he continues like that -- I don't know if this is the right time to put pressure on him -- but I believe he should be regarded as one of the best three in the world at the end of the year.

"He deserves to be mentioned for the Ballon d'Or. When people talk about [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo, they should also talk about Salah.

"He deserves the credit, but I think he deserves even more, to be honest. 43 goals guys!"

Along with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, Salah has been part of a prolific frontline that have combined to score 88 goals for Liverpool in all competitions so far this term.

Depsite Liverpool conceding two late goals against Roma on Tuesday to keep the tie alive heading into next week's return fixture, Lovren feels the Reds will arrive at the Stadio Olimpico extremely confident about adding to their advantage.

"We had so many chances, they are really open, they are a team that likes to play and that is good for us," the centre-half said. "They now need to score. It will be a crazy atmosphere but we played in one similar at Man City and we know what we need to do if we score quite early I think it will be a quite different.

"I am really quite confident we will have chances again like [on Tuesday]. With our attack, I am not even worried."

Roma have already defied the odds in Europe this season when they reached the last four by overturning a 4-1 deficit from the first leg against Barcelona to go through on away goals.

"We are not Barcelona," Lovren said. "We play different football to Barca. We are a team who will not think about these five goals that we scored today.

"We will go there like a 0-0 game and we know we have these 90 minutes to make history again. We know what we need to do."

Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.


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