Mohamed Salah has revealed how missing out on the Premier League Golden Boot in the 2020-21 season, when Tottenham’s Harry Kane pipped him by just one goal, motivated him to enjoy an incredible individual campaign for Liverpool this time around.
Salah finished as the Premier League’s joint-highest goalscorer this season, matching Son Heung-min’s tally of 23 goals as Liverpool finished just one point short of champions Manchester City.
The forward also edged out team-mate Trent Alexander Arnold by one league assist, laying on 13 goals to emulate Kane’s feat of winning both awards in the 2020-21 campaign, as he led Liverpool’s fight for silverware.
Having already lifted the EFL Cup and FA Cup this season, Jurgen Klopp’s team could add the Champions League when they face Real Madrid in Saturday’s final, with the Egypt winger looking for revenge after sustaining an injury in Liverpool’s 2018 defeat to the same opponents.
Speaking to Rio Ferdinand for BT Sport ahead of that contest in Paris, Salah revealed how missing out on topping the Premier League’s goalscoring charts last season motivated him to “work like crazy” to outdo his fellow forwards this term.
“When I signed here, I can’t say I thought ‘I expect myself to go and win three golden boots!'”, Salah said. “But in the first season [2017-18] I was fighting with Kane in the beginning, and I thought I had a big chance to win it.
“When I won it from Kane – and Kane was winning it [each of] the two years before – in the summer I went on holiday and said, ‘look, why not?’ I did it one time, I took it from Kane, a top goalscorer, so give it a try for a second one.
“I won it the second year, and once I won the second one, I said, ‘you’ve got to go for four or five!’ I think in my mind, for five years now I’ve always competed for it. I lost some, [like] last season in the last game to Kane.
“That last year was painful for me, trust me! It pushed me to be who I am now, this year.
“I believe that last season as a team, it was not really good, but for the golden boot, in the last game, with one goal difference… that’s not good.
“It didn’t kill my summer, I was so motivated, I was working [like] crazy. I said ‘look, next year I’m going to win both things – golden boot and assists. I’m going for both from now’. I was working like crazy and I did it.”
Despite Liverpool finishing third last season after enduring an injury-hit campaign, Salah scored 22 league goals, only to see Kane net his 23rd in a final-day 4-2 win over Leicester City.
But the Liverpool star responded to win his third Golden Boot in five seasons this term, drawing level with Kane and Alan Shearer with three such awards. Only Thierry Henry, with four, has won more.