Sports Desk: Cristiano Ronaldo believes Mohamed Salah has pushed himself into the Ballon d'Or reckoning.
The Liverpool star enjoyed a stunning debut campaign at Anfield as he scored 44 goals in all competitions.
His season ended on a sour note though after suffering a shoulder injury in the Champions League final defeat to Ronaldo's Real Madrid.
There were fears Salah would miss the World Cup but he has travelled to Russia with the Egypt squad and could now be fit for their opener with Uruguay.
And Ronaldo has lavished praise on the 25-year-old after his remarkable campaign at Anfield.
"Mo Salah has been one of the revelations of the year," Ronaldo said.
"I hope his injury in the final in Kiev doesn't keep him out.
"Many people talk about the Cristiano Ronaldo-Messi battle but there are other players who have chances to enter the race (for Ballon d'Or). The Egyptian is one of them."
It has been over a decade since a player other than Ronaldo or Messi won the Ballon d'Or.
A last 16 clash between Salah and Ronaldo could be on the cards in Russia with Egypt and Portugal in Group A and B respectively.
Portugal open their campaign against Spain on Friday and Ronaldo admits it is a tricky start for the European champions.
"It’s not ideal but the draw has given us this tie and we have to accept it," Ronaldo added.
“A defeat on the first day puts you in a bad way for the rest of the tournament so it’s important to start well. But I believe both Spain and Portugal will reach the next round.
risingbd/Dhaka/Jun 12, 2018/Nasim