Saturday’s Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool pits the reigning Ballon d’Or winner against a credible challenger for that honour, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah go head to head.
Ronaldo has been Madrid’s figurehead for close to a decade, while Salah has been a revelation on Merseyside since signing from Roma ahead of the 2017-18 season.
The pair have been key in their sides’ respective routes to Kiev and are the two biggest attractions in a match that will determine whether Madrid can win an unprecedented third title in a row or if Liverpool can upset the odds to claim the sixth in their history.
Here, with the help of Opta, we take a look back at the performances of Ronaldo and Salah this season.
SALAH TAKES HIS CHANCES
While there has been nothing to choose between the two players in terms of goals scored across all competitions – both have netted 44 – the figures show that Salah is the more efficient marksman.
Ronaldo’s total has come from eight fewer games but he attempted a whopping 83 more shots at goal to reach it, giving him a conversion rate of 15.8 per cent.
Salah, meanwhile, has been converting chances at a rate of 22.6 per cent and is also shown to be an effective team player with his work in setting up chances for his Liverpool colleagues.
The Egypt international has provided 14 assists to Ronaldo’s eight over the same period and attempted 103 more dribbles – 194 to 91 – completing 114 of them to Ronaldo’s 55.
PASS MASTER RONALDO
Though Salah outperforms Ronaldo when it comes to converting chances and providing assists, it is Ronaldo who has the edge in the passing department.
The Portuguese has attempted 1,170 passes this season, completing 952 to give him an accuracy rate of 81.4 per cent.
That puts him ahead of Salah’s 76.2 per cent, although the 25-year-old has played 155 more balls over the course of the season.
Despite his inferior chance conversion rate, Ronaldo is also a more regular scorer than Salah, netting every 81.4 minutes compared to his opponent’s 93.
RONALDO STILL THE KING OF EUROPE
It is worth remembering that Ronaldo is the competition’s all-time leading goalscorer with 120 to his name.
Fifteen of those efforts have come this season, putting him five clear of the next highest scorer, who just so happens to be Salah.
But Ronaldo is Madrid’s only representative in the top 10 for the season, perhaps demonstrating an over-reliance on the 33-year-old with Gareth Bale struggling for fitness and Karim Benzema in poor form.
Ten-goal Salah, meanwhile, is joined in the higher reaches of the list by Liverpool team-mates Roberto Firmino (also 10) and Sadio Mane (9), indicating a greater sharing of responsibility among the Reds’ fearsome attacking trio.