The FIFA Ballon d’Or might be the most coveted French-inspired individual award in football, but French newspaper L’Equipe offers one of their own which a former Rangers star can lay claim to.
Oleg Salenko – the only player to ever score five goals in a World Cup match [USA 1994] – earned a famed L’Equipe 10/10 rating for his performance in the same game against Cameroon.
The former Russian striker played for Rangers for a short spell in 1995 and can lay claim to a special award only eleven other players have been awarded.
It puts Salenko amongst such esteemed company as Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi (who’s been awarded it twice) and former Frank Sauzee of, yes that’s right, Hibs fame.
Granted, Sauzee won it for his performance in the U21 World Cup Final in 1988, eleven years before he moved to Easter Road.
The coveted and fabled L’Equipe “perfect performance” award from the French news outlet is back in the press after they awarded £54m rated Serge Gnabry a solid 10 for his four-goal performance in Bayern Munich’s record-breaking 7-2 Champions League demolition of Tottenham Hotspur this week.
It is the third 10/10 award from L’Equipe in 2019, having already given it to Lucas Moura and Dusan Tadic for their performances in the Champions League last season.
It’s taken a matter of months for the same number of people to be awarded 10s after what previously took three people up to 15 years.
Maybe the press is getting wrapped up in the viral nature of today’s news copy, maybe footballers are just getting better.
Whatever the case, former Rangers star Oleg Salenko will always be able to say he’s one of those players who put in a perfect performance on the world stage.