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Ex-Roma star Balbo: Salah success a sign Serie A is failing
Mohamed Salah impressed football fans around the world, scoring six goals in just eight games for La Viola, following his loan move from Chelsea last month.
However, former Argentina international Abel Balbo has claimed the 22-year-old Egyptian’s achievements proves that Calcio is lagging behind the world’s best leagues.
“Salah has really shocked me, and his speedy integration is not a great sign for our league. It is a sign that Serie A is a technically poor competition in which players with speed and superior technique immediately make a difference,” Balbo told Goal.
“Congratulations must go to Salah and his coach Vincenzo Montella for the way in which he has been allowed to fit in so well. Florence is a very calm environment and he is doing a great job.
“Salah is the perfect attacker, such great play with the ball at his feet is really taking the team on a level.”
The first leg of the Europa League round of 16 tie takes place Thursday night at the Artemio Franchi in Florence, with Roma hosting the return fixture seven days later.
“On paper, yes Fiorentina are favourites, but in Europe everything changes. It is a different game, over 180 minutes,” Balbo added.
“Sure, Fiorentina are going better psychologically and physically. They beat Juventus in Turin and that great victory will give them a lot of strength, but it doesn’t mean anything as the Roman monster can suddenly wake up. For me they start on an equal footing.”
The 48-year-old star spent seven years playing for Roma and Fiorentina, with only one of those in Florence. The Argentina also found it difficult to point out why Francesco Totti and his colleagues are going through a tough time, drawing 8 of their previous 10.
“It’s very difficult to make an assessment on the situation at Trigoria. What is obvious is that since December Roma have completely changed their attitude on the field.
“Their play is slow, they never shoot at goal, and they’re really struggling because their opponents have been increasingly strong. It cannot be a coincidence that they have drawn practically every game.”
Fiorentina’s Europa League match with Roma tonight kicks off at 10:05 PM CLT.