Europe's Top 5 Leagues: 5 Players with the most number of direct goal involvements in 2018 so far
As we move into the holiday season, we are almost done with all the league matches for the calendar year. The next time we see the players take the pitch will be in the new year.
This year has been another splendid one for football fans. The World Cup brought together the entire world as one. Almost 4 billion people watched the mega event held in Russia. Almost 2 billion people had their eyes on the ball as it rolled four times past Danijel Subasic which resulted in France being crowned the Champions.
This year also marked the first time in a decade when somebody named Messi or Ronaldo did not win the annual individual honours. Luka Modric won the FIFA's best player of the year and the Ballon d'Or 2018 for the first time in his career.
While we witnessed Real Madrid winning their third UEFA Champions League title in a row, we also witnessed Barcelona win the domestic double. As the Catalan outfit bid adieu to club legend Andres Iniesta, we saw Lionel Messi take up the reigns as captain.
The transfer window in the summer dropped a shocker. Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Juventus after 9 successful years at Real Madrid. Ronaldo was not the only person to move away from Madrid.
Zinedine Zidane also left the Los Blancos before the start of the season. Talking about managers, Jupp Heynckes and Arsene Wenger also ended their tenure at Bayern Munich and Arsenal respectively.
But other than these major events, we saw goals. We love to see the ball rolling into the back of the net. It looks amazing when the keeper struggles to reach the ball.
Cristiano Ronaldo unleashed a ferocious bicycle kick against Juventus in the Champions League. Lionel Messi gave us a lesson in ball control against Nigeria. He controlled the ball with his thigh before taking a second touch and finishing it off.
But where did those goals come from? Ronaldo was assisted by Dani Carvajal before he plucked the ball out of thin air. Lionel Messi made a forward run which was spotted well by Ever Banega as the Sevilla midfielder looped a ball for his captain. Thus assists are as important as goals.
On that note, let us look at 5 players who were involved in the most number of goals in 2018.
Note: Stats for all players have been taken from Transfermarkt.com
#5 Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt) - 35 goals and 14 assists (47 apps)
The Egyptian came into the spotlight through his exceptional performances for Liverpool which saw them reach the UEFA Champions League finals. Mohamed Salah or Mo Salah as we popularly call him thus earned the nickname, 'The Egyptian Pharaoh'.
Salah was directly involved in 49 goals in the calendar year with 35 goals and 14 assists. He, unfortunately, missed out in the UEFA Champions League Final and the first two group games in the World Cup due to an unfortunate injury. However, he scored in Liverpool's impressive semi-final win against his old club Roma.
Although people label Mo Salah as a one-season wonder, it is not the case. Salah has scored 11 goals and assisted 6 in the Premier League this season. Not only that he scored the all-important goal against Napoli in the virtual knockout match in the Champions League 18/19 to secure Liverpool's passage to the knockout rounds.
But even after his best efforts, Mo Salah could only finish 5th on this list. And it is not because he hasn't been exceptional. It is just because there are four others who outplayed him.