Mohamed Salah will take his prolificacy in front of goal to Egypt for the coming weeks and his national manager is in no doubt about the status of Liverpool’s No. 11.
And he knows just how Cristiano Ronaldo will feel about his statement, with Carlos Queiroz having worked alongside the forward with Portugal during his golden years.
But it is Salah who is hitting all the headlines thanks to his ruthlessness in front of goal that has seen him notch 23 goals in 26 games this season, placing little doubt over his standing in the game.
Which Egypt manager Queiroz is ready to harness throughout the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.
“You will probably agree with me that we now have the best player in the world,” Queiroz told reporters, as quoted by KingFut. “Cristiano Ronaldo would be upset if he heard that!”
He may be upset but it’s certainly no word of a lie, with Salah continuing to seemingly turn everything he touches into gold with one record after another tumbling in his wake.
And while Liverpool will be eager to have him back as Jurgen Klopp and co. push for silverware this season, Egypt are first banking on his skillset for AFCON and then for the World Cup qualifiers.
“Our goal in the AFCON is to try to win every game, build a winning mentality because in March we will play the final stage of the [World Cup] qualifiers,” 68-year-old Queiroz said.
“I will only have four days before it. I know that Egypt has a great history in the AFCON, but our goal remains to qualify for the World Cup. I was not the one who set qualifying for the World Cup as the main goal for the team.
“FIFA put the Club World Cup at the same time as the AFCON, and this reflects on the importance of the qualifiers, which will take place by themselves in March.
“We have to play better than the team was 10 years ago. All the teams that we will face in the tournament are doing better now than they were in 2010. We’re not going to AFCON to take a walk, we are going to win.
“We need a winning mentality, when we win the first game we will want to win the next match and so on, this is our mentality. I want a stable, strong, and harmonious team that is able to go to the final stage of the qualifiers.”
Salah and Egpyt are to first practice with the Congo national team as part of their preparations for the tournament before their first game on January 11 against Nigeria.