In this Dutch name, the family name is van Dijk, not Dijk.
Virgil van Dijk (Dutch pronunciation: [vɑn ˈdɛik]; born 8 July 1991) is a Dutch professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for English Premier League club Liverpool and captains the Netherlands national team.
After beginning his professional career with Groningen, he moved to Celtic in 2013, where he won the Scottish Premiership and was named in the PFA Scotland Team of the Year in both of his seasons with the club, also winning the Scottish League Cup in the latter. In September 2015, he joined Premier League side Southampton before signing for Liverpool in January 2018 for £75 million, a world record transfer fee for a defender at the time. Van Dijk was involved in reaching the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final during his first spring at Liverpool. In his first full season at the club Van Dijk was named the PFA Player of the Year and the Premier League Player of the Season for the 2018–19 season. Van Dijk starred as Liverpool won the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final where he was named man of the match.
Van Dijk made his international debut for the Netherlands in 2015 and became captain of his country in 2018. Considered to be one of the best defenders in the world, he is known for his strength, leadership and aerial ability.
Early Life and Career
Van Dijk was born in Breda to a Dutch father and Surinamese mother. During his teenage years, he combined his time playing at the Willem II academy with a part-time job as a dishwasher. Having previously and unsuccessfully featured as a right-back, van Dijk was shifted into a central defensive position in 2008, aged 17, after he grew in height by around 18 centimetres. Despite the positional shift and van Dijk’s physical growth, Willem II’s reserve manager at the time Edwin Hermans believed he had “too many limitations” which prevented him from breaking into the first team.In 2010, he was scouted by former Dutch international Martin Koeman, who was working for FC Groningen at the time, and he ended up completing a free transfer to the club in the same year.
Van Dijk initially struggled to break into Groningen’s first team with club staff believing he was “overtired” after extensive playing time with Willem II’s academy and reserve sides. He made his professional debut for the club on 1 May 2011, coming on as a 72nd-minute substitute for Petter Andersson during a 4–2 victory against ADO Den Haag. On 29 May, and against the same opposition, he made his first start for Groningen and scored his first professional goals, netting twice in a 5–1 win in a UEFA Europa League play-off match.
During the 2011–12 Eredivisie season, Van Dijk made 23 league appearances for the Eredivisie team, and scored his first regular-season goal during the club’s 6–0 victory over Feyenoord on 30 October 2011. He suffered a personal setback during the campaign, however, as soon after his 20th birthday he was admitted to hospital with peritonitis and kidney poisoning. Van Dijk later revealed that he had been close to dying as a result of the medical emergency and that the hospital had even gone so far as to ask him to sign a “sort of will” in the event of his passing.
He did, however, return to the field for Groningen and continued to impress for the club the following season. At the end of the campaign, and with Van Dijk having “outgrown” the club, he was offered to a number of bigger Eredivisie clubs, including Ajax, all of whom elected not to sign him. Instead, in June 2013, he joined Scottish side Celtic.
On 21 June 2013, Van Dijk signed with Celtic for a fee of around £2.6 million, on a four-year deal including a 10% selling-on fee for Groningen. He made his debut on 17 August, replacing Efe Ambrose for the final 13 minutes of a 2–0 Scottish Premiership win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie Stadium. A week later, he made his first start, in a 2–2 draw with Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Celtic Park. On 9 November, Van Dijk scored his first Celtic goals, heading one in each half of a 4–1 win against Ross County. After a solo run, he scored within five minutes the only goal of a victory over St Johnstone on 26 December.
Van Dijk scored again on 26 January 2014, in a 4–0 win versus Hibernian for Celtic’s 11th consecutive league win. On 25 February, he was sent off after 13 minutes of an eventual 2–1 loss at Aberdeen, for a professional foul on Peter Pawlett; it was Celtic’s first defeat of the season. With Celtic having already won the league, Van Dijk netted again on 7 May to put his team 3–1 up away to St Johnstone, in an eventual 3–3 draw. He was one of three Celtic players named in the PFA Scotland Team of the Year. Van Dijk was nominated for the PFA Scotland Players’ Player of the Year award, but lost out to fellow Celtic player Kris Commons
Van Dijk playing for Celtic in 2015
On 22 July 2014, Van Dijk and Teemu Pukki each scored twice in a 4–0 home win over KR in a UEFA Champions League qualifier, putting their team into the next round 5–0 on aggregate. His first goal of the Premiership season came on 9 November, finishing from Stefan Johansen’s last-minute corner for a 2–1 win at Aberdeen. Three weeks later, Van Dijk scored the first and last goals of Celtic’s 4–0 win versus Heart of Midlothian in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup. Four days after that, his sixth goal of the season was enough for victory in a home match against Glasgow neighbours Partick Thistle.
Van Dijk was again on target on 21 January 2015, opening a 4–0 home win over Motherwell. On 26 February, he was sent off in the 36th minute against Inter Milan for a foul on Mauro Icardi, as Celtic lost 1–0 on the night, 4–3 on aggregate in the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League. He was again sent off on 8 March in the Cup quarter-final away to Dundee United at Tannadice Park, receiving a red card after eleven minutes for a confrontation with Calum Butcher. His suspension for the following week’s Scottish League Cup Final was overturned on appeal, as was that of Paul Paton, who was sent off when mistaken for Butcher. Van Dijk played the full 90 minutes of the final at Hampden Park, which Celtic won 2–0. On 18 March, Celtic’s third consecutive match against Dundee United, Van Dijk scored in the last minute to confirm a 4–0 win in a Cup replay.
On 19 April, Celtic contested the Cup semi-final against Inverness at Hampden, and Van Dijk opened the scoring with a free kick. After the dismissal of goalkeeper Craig Gordon, Celtic fell 3–2, ending their chance of a treble. Three days later, again from a free kick, he confirmed a 2–1 win away to Dundee. His team again won the league, and Van Dijk was included in the league’s Team of the Season for the second consecutive campaign. He was again shortlisted for the PFA Scotland Players’ Player award, but lost out to another team mate, this time Stefan Johansen.
Van Dijk was reportedly “considering his future” in Glasgow after Celtic were knocked out of the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League in the qualifying rounds to Malmö of Sweden.
On 1 September 2015, Van Dijk signed a five-year contract with Premier League club Southampton, managed by Ronald Koeman, for a reported £13 million transfer fee.
He made his debut for Southampton on 12 September in a 0–0 draw against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns. Two weeks later, Van Dijk marked his third Premier League appearance with his first goal for the club, which came in the form of a header in the 11th minute to put Southampton in front, following a set-piece from James Ward-Prowse in a 3–1 home win over Swansea City. On 7 May 2016, Van Dijk signed a new six-year contract with the Saints.
On 22 January 2017, he was named team captain of Southampton, after the departure of José Fonte. On the same day, he suffered an ankle injury against Leicester City. This ruled him out of the 2017 EFL Cup Final, which Southampton lost to Manchester United at Wembley Stadium.
After a successful 2016–17 season at Southampton, Van Dijk was subject to interest from Liverpool, who apologised to Southampton for an illegal approach for the player after having reportedly made clear his interest in a move to Liverpool. On 7 August 2017, Van Dijk handed in a transfer request to Southampton and released a statement along with it, emphasising his wish to join a different club in the transfer window.
Van Dijk remained with Southampton for the start of the 2017–18 season and made his first appearance since being injured in January, coming on as a late substitute in a 1–0 victory at Crystal Palace on 26 September. He made what turned out to be his final appearance for Southampton on 13 December 2017, in a 4–1 home defeat to Leicester. It was also his last appearance in any of Southampton’s matchday squads, as he was omitted from the squad for the rest of his tenure at the club in light of speculation surrounding his future.
On 27 December 2017, it was announced that Van Dijk would join Liverpool when the winter transfer window opened on 1 January 2018 for a reported fee of £75 million. Former club Celtic would receive 10% of Van Dijk’s transfer fee, due to a sell-on clause placed in his Southampton contract. Southampton claimed the undisclosed transfer fee would constitute a world record fee in football for a defender.
He made his debut for Liverpool on 5 January in the third round of the FA Cup and scored the winning goal with a late header in a 2–1 victory against local rivals Everton. In doing so, he became the first player since Bill White in 1901 to score on his debut in the Merseyside derby. Van Dijk and Dejan Lovren built a strong partnership at the heart of Liverpool’s defence, with the Dutchman being credited for improving Liverpool’s previous defensive issues.
Van Dijk was included in the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season, despite playing just half of the season in the Champions League, with the UEFA Technical Observers saying: “Van Dijk arrived at Anfield and provided composure and stability in the competition’s knockout stages.” Van Dijk played the full 90 minutes in the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, which Liverpool lost 1–3. Van Dijk played 22 games in all competitions in his first season with the club, scoring 1 goal.
On 20 August 2018, Van Dijk was voted Man of the Match by BBC Sport and Sky Sports for his performance in a 2–0 win over Crystal Palace. Van Dijk received the Liverpool Standard Chartered Player of the Month award for his performances in August. On 2 December, Van Dijk was awarded an assist for the winning goal in a derby match against city rivals Everton. Liverpool won 1–0 thanks to Divock Origi’s 96th minute goal, set up by a Van Dijk volley and a subsequent error from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. The Dutchman was ultimately awarded the PFA Player of the Month for November 2018. On 21 December, Van Dijk scored his first goal in the Premier League for Liverpool in a 2–0 away win against Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Dutchman continued his impressive form in the 2018–19 season by winning the Premier League Player of the Month prize for December 2018.
On 27 February 2019, Van Dijk scored twice in a 5–0 win against Watford. The following month, he scored once – his first goal in the Champions League for the club – and assisted another in a 3–1 win over Bayern Munich. In doing so, he became the first player since Craig Bellamy in 2007 to score and assist a goal for Liverpool in a knock-out stage match away from home in the competition.
On 20 April, he was one of six players nominated for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award alongside teammate Sadio Mané. Four days later, he was named in the PFA Team of the Year alongside Liverpool teammates, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mané and Andrew Robertson. On 28 April 2019, he was named the PFA Player of the Year. Following Liverpool’s 2–0 victory over Tottenham in the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final on 1 June, van Dijk was named UEFA’s Man of the match.
Van Dijk made his full international debut for Netherlands on 10 October 2015, in a 2–1 victory away from home against Kazakhstan in a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier.
He was awarded the captaincy of his country by manager Ronald Koeman on 22 March 2018, and his first match as captain was a 1–0 home friendly defeat by England the next day. On 26 March, he scored his first international goal to conclude a 3–0 win over European champions Portugal at the Stade de Genève. On 13 October, he scored in a 3–0 win over 2014 World Cup champions Germany in the UEFA Nations League.
Style of Play
Van Dijk is a physically strong, right-footed centre-back, who usually features on the left-hand side of central defence, although he can also play as a right-sided centre-back. He is gifted with pace, good technique, and an eye for goal, and is an effective set-piece taker. Regarding his ability, former Celtic teammate Kris Commons commented that van Dijk was “comfortable on the ball”, also noting that “He had good technique and a wonderful right foot. He was good on set-pieces, some of the free-kicks he scored for Celtic are absolute wonders. He could read the game well. He had an aura about him, a confidence, because I think he knew he was good.”
Neil McGuinness, senior scout at Celtic when Van Dijk was signed, called him “everything you would want if you could create a profile of the ideal central defender”, praising him as a “very smooth ball-playing defender” who possesses aerial prowess, skills from dead ball situations, and “strong leadership qualities”, while commenting that since his move to England, he is “more tactically aware now […] his anticipation and timing has improved and he is a lot more of an all-rounder”. McGuinness believes Van Dijk’s “biggest problem” is that he “can switch off when the game is comfortable”.
Van Dijk features as the cover star of the champions edition of EA Sports’ FIFA video game FIFA 20.
Van Dijk commonly uses only his first name on the kit. According to his uncle Steven, this is because of a feud with his father.
As of match played 17 August 2019
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
As of match played 9 June 2019
Appearances and goals by national team and year
As of match played on 9 June 2019. Netherlands score listed first, score column indicates score after each Van Dijk goal.
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
Scottish Premiership: 2013–14, 2014–15
Scottish League Cup: 2014–15
UEFA Champions League: 2018–19; runner-up: 2017–18]
UEFA Super Cup: 2019
UEFA Nations League runner-up: 2018–19
PFA Scotland Team of the Year: 2013–14, 2014–15
Celtic FC Players’ Player of the Year: 2013–14
Southampton Player of the Season: 2015–16
UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season: 2017–18, 2018–19
FIFA FIFPro World XI 5th Team: 2018
Premier League Player of the Season: 2018–19
PFA Team of the Year: 2018–19 Premier League
PFA Player of the Month: November 2018
Premier League Player of the Month: December 2018
UEFA Team of the Year: 2018
Liverpool Fans Player of the Season Award: 2018–19
Liverpool Players’ Player of the Season Award: 2018–19
PFA Players’ Player of the Year: 2018–19
UEFA Nations League Finals Team of the Tournament: 2019]
Sadio Mané (born 10 April 1992) is a Senegalese professional footballer who plays as a winger for Premier League club Liverpool and the Senegal national team.
Having begun his career with Metz in France, he transferred to Red Bull Salzburg in 2012. After winning the Austrian Bundesliga and Austrian Cup in 2014, he was signed by Southampton. In 2015, Mané set a new Premier League record for the fastest hat-trick when he scored three times in 176 seconds during a 6–1 win over Aston Villa. He transferred to Liverpool in 2016 for a fee of £34 million, making him the most expensive African player in history at that time. Since joining Liverpool, Mané among other achievements scored in the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final. The following season he was joint recipient of the Premier League Golden Boot with 22 goals, and was part of the Liverpool team that won the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final.
Mané has earned over 60 caps for Senegal since his debut in 2012, and represented the national team at the 2012 Olympics, the 2015, 2017 and 2019 editions of the Africa Cup of Nations, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Born in Sédhiou, Sénégal, Mané started his career at the Académie Génération Foot, Senegalese football academy.
Mané made his professional debut for Metz on 14 January 2012, coming on as a substitute for Kévin Diaz in the 75th minute of a 0–1 home defeat against Bastia in Ligue 2. He made 19 appearances in his first league season, 12 as a starter, and scored a solitary goal in a 2–5 loss to Guingamp at the Stade Saint-Symphorien on 4 May. Metz were relegated to the Championnat National at the end of the season.
Red Bull Salzburg
On 31 August 2012, Mané moved to Austrian Bundesliga side Red Bull Salzburg for the third biggest transfer fee that FC Metz had ever received. The fee was believed to be €4 million.
He scored his first hat-trick for the club on 31 October, in a 3–1 away win at Kalsdorf in the third round of the Austrian Cup.
On 27 October 2013, he netted his first hat-trick in the Austrian Bundesliga, during a 3–0 win away to Grödig. He scored another treble on 7 May 2014 as Salzburg won 7–0 at Horn in the cup semi-finals; the season ended with the team winning a domestic double. At the end of August 2014 Mané forced a transfer out of the club, by not coming to the training and to the most important game for Salzburg at that time to qualify for the Champions League.
On 1 September 2014, Mané transferred to Premier League side Southampton for £11.8 million, signing a four-year contract. He made his debut 22 days later in a 2–1 League Cup victory over Arsenal, winning the penalty for Southampton’s first goal. He made his first league appearance for the club in another 2–1 victory over Queens Park Rangers on 27 September, starting and assisting Ryan Bertrand for the first goal of the game. He scored his first goal for the club in an 8–0 victory over Sunderland on 18 October, although this was subsequently credited as an own goal by Patrick van Aanholt. He did, however, score his first goal in his next game, a 1–0 win over Stoke City a week later.
In December and January he scored in three successive matches, against Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Arsenal. Mané scored two late winning goals in 1–0 league victories at Queens Park Rangers on 7 February 2015 and at home to Crystal Palace on 3 March respectively. However, Mané had been dropped from Southampton’s starting line-up for their 0–2 home defeat to Liverpool on 22 February as a punishment for being late to the stadium.
On 16 May, during Southampton’s final home match of the season, Mané scored three times in 2 minutes 56 seconds in a 6–1 win over Aston Villa to set a new Premier League record for the fastest hat-trick. The record had been held since 1994 by Robbie Fowler, who scored three against Arsenal in 4 minutes and 33 seconds. Mané finished the season with 10 goals from 32 appearances in all competitions.
Mané began the 2015–16 season by registering two assists in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first leg match with Vitesse Arnhem at home and scoring in the return leg, as Southampton eased through to the next round 5–0 on aggregate. On 2 December, he took 39 seconds to open the scoring against Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the League Cup, but the Saints eventually lost 6–1 at home.
On 2 January 2016, he was again dropped from the starting line-up by manager Ronald Koeman for a match at Norwich City when he turned up late for a pre-match meeting. He received a straight red card on 12 March at the end of a 2–1 win at Stoke City for a collision into Erik Pieters, although this was quickly overturned on appeal.
Having failed to score in the league for over four months, Mané scored twice in a 3–2 victory over Liverpool on 20 March 2016, followed by five goals in the next five matches, including a hat-trick in a 4–2 victory against Manchester City on 1 May. He finished the season as Southampton’s top scorer, with 15 goals in all competitions.
On 28 June 2016, Mané joined Liverpool for a transfer fee of £34 million on a five-year contract. The transfer fee made him the most expensive African player in history at the time. On 14 August, he made his Premier League debut for the Reds, scoring the fourth goal in a 4–3 away win against Arsenal. Having missed Liverpool’s defeat at Burnley through a slight shoulder injury, Mane returned to the starting line-up against Burton Albion in the League Cup where he had two assists in a 5–0 win.
On 19 December, Mané scored the only goal of the 227th Merseyside derby in added time against Everton at Goodison Park. On 11 February 2017, Mané scored two goals within two minutes against Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield, for Liverpool’s first league win in 2017. On 20 April 2017, Mané was named in the PFA Team of the Year after scoring 13 league goals in his first season with Liverpool. Despite missing the latter part of the campaign through injury, Mané was awarded the Liverpool Player of the Season award on 9 May 2017.
In the first match of the new season, on 12 August 2017, away to Watford, Mané scored Liverpool’s first goal of the season in a 3–3 draw. He was named Premier League Player of the Month after scoring a goal in each of the Reds’ three matches in August. On 9 September 2017, he was given a straight red card in the first half of a 5–0 loss to Manchester City for a high boot against goalkeeper Ederson, resulting in a three-match ban. Mané, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho made up a prolific attacking quartet dubbed the “Fab Four” and “Fab Three” after the mid-season exit of the latter.
On 14 February 2018, Mané scored his first hat-trick for Liverpool in a 5–0 away win against Porto in the round of 16 first leg of the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League. In doing so, he became only the second player to score an away hat-trick for the club in Europe. Later, with a goal in the 3–0 win over Bournemouth on 14 April, he overtook Demba Ba’s record of 43 to become the highest scoring Senegalese in Premier League history.
On 26 May, during the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, Mané scored Liverpool’s equalizing goal in a 3–1 defeat. In doing so, he became the first Senegalese player to score in the final of the competition. His goal was also his 10th for the campaign which saw Liverpool become the first team in history to have three players score 10+ goals in a single Champions League season, with Mané achieving the milestone alongside fellow forwards Salah and Firmino.
On 22 November 2018, Mané signed new long-term deal with the Reds. On 10 March 2019, Mané scored twice in a 4–2 win over Burnley, the second of which was his 50th competitive goal for Liverpool. His goals also saw him become only the fifth Liverpool player to score in six consecutive home Premier League appearances after Michael Owen, Fernando Torres, Luis Suárez and Salah. Three days later, he scored twice more in a 3–1 win over Bayern Munich to help Liverpool progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. In doing so, he became the club’s record goalscorer away from home in the competition with seven goals to his name. During Liverpool’s next match, he broke another of Ba’s records to become the Senegalese player with the most goals scored in a single Premier League season, after scoring his 17th goal for the campaign in a 2–1 win over Fulham. On 20 April, he was one of six players nominated for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award alongside teammate Virgil van Dijk. He was also named in the PFA Team of the Year alongside Liverpool teammates, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson and Van Dijk.
On the final day of the domestic campaign, Mané scored twice in a 2–0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers. His brace took him to 22 goals for the campaign which saw him share the Premier League Golden Boot award with Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. On 1 June, Mané helped win an early penalty for Liverpool in the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final against Tottenham, only 24 seconds after the kick-off, after his cross was judged to have hit Moussa Sissoko’s arm inside the penalty area; Salah subsequently converted from the spot to open the scoring, and Liverpool ultimately won the match 2–0 to claim the title.
Mané pursued a career in football despite his father forbidding him from playing the sport as a child. He currently resides in Allerton and has been burgled twice, once in November 2017 and again in February 2019. He is a practising Muslim and occasionally makes du’a before the start of each match.
Mané was part of the Senegal team at the 2012 Olympic tournament, and started every match as they advanced through Group A as runners-up to Great Britain before losing 4–2 after extra time in the quarter-finals to eventual champions Mexico.
Mané was ruled out of the Senegalese squad for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations after suffering a calf injury in Southampton’s 2–0 win against Arsenal on 1 January 2015. He later returned to the squad, and started in their final two group matches against South Africa and Algeria in a group stage exit.
Mané represented Senegal at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and scored a goal in each of the nation’s opening two games, 2–0 wins against Tunisia and Zimbabwe. After a goalless draw in the quarter-final clash against Cameroon, he missed in the penalty shootout as Senegal were eliminated.
In May 2018, he was named in Senegal’s 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. He scored the opening goal in a 2–2 draw against Japan in the group stage.
Mané pursued a career in football despite his father forbidding him from playing the sport as a child. He currently resides in Allerton and has been burgled twice, once in November 2017 and again in February 2019. He is a practising Muslim and occasionally makes du’a before the start of each match.
As of match played 1 June 2019
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
As of matches played 27 July 2019.
As of match played 27 July 2019. Senegal score listed first, score column indicates score after each Mané goal (includes one unofficial goal).
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
Red Bull Salzburg
Austrian Football Bundesliga: 2013–14
Austrian Cup: 2013–14
UEFA Champions League: 2018–19; runner-up 2017–18
EFA Super Cup: 2019
Africa Cup of Nations: runner-up 2019
CAF Team of the Year: 2015, 2016, 2018
PFA Team of the Year: 2016–17 Premier League, 2018–19 Premier
Premier League Player of the Month: August 2017, March 2019
Liverpool Fans Player of the Season Award: 2016–17
Liverpool Players’ Player of the Season Award: 2016–17
FIFA FIFPro World XI 4th team: 2018
Premier League Golden Boot: 2018–19
UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season: 2018–19
CAF Africa Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament: 2019
Roberto Firmino Barbosa de Oliveira (Brazilian Portuguese: [ʁuˈbɛɾtu fiɾˈmĩnu]; born 2 October 1991) is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for Premier League club Liverpool and the Brazil national team as an attacking midfielder, forward or winger.
After starting his career with Figueirense in 2009, he spent four-and-a-half seasons at Hoffenheim. His 16 goals in 33 games for the 2013–14 Bundesliga season earned him the award for the league’s Breakthrough Player. In July 2015, he signed for Premier League club Liverpool. His creativity, goalscoring and work rate have earned him plaudits at Liverpool, with manager Jürgen Klopp referring to Firmino as the “engine” that propels the club’s counter-attacking system. He won the UEFA Champions League with the club in 2019.
Firmino made his international debut for Brazil in November 2014. He represented the nation at the 2015 Copa América, the 2018 FIFA World Cup and was part of the Brazil team that won the 2019 Copa América.
Born in Maceió, Alagoas, Firmino joined Figueirense’s youth setup in 2008, aged 17, after starting out at CRB. He was discovered by a dentist, Marcellus Portella. With the latter, he was mainly used as a defensive midfielder.
Firmino made his professional debut on 24 October 2009, coming on as a half-time substitute for Toninho in a 1–2 home loss against Ponte Preta, for the Série B championship. In January 2010 he was promoted to the main squad.
Firmino scored his first professional goal on 8 May 2010, netting the winner in an away success against São Caetano. He contributed with eight goals in 36 appearances during the season, as Figueira returned to Série A after a two-year absence.
Firmino signed with Hoffenheim in December 2010, with the contract running until June 2015. He formally arrived at Hoffenheim on 1 January 2011. Then Hoffenheim manager Ernst Tanner commented that they were “pleased to hire a Brazilian talent”. He made his debut a month later in a Bundesliga defeat against Mainz, where he came on as a 75th-minute substitute for Sebastian Rudy. He scored his first goal for the club on 16 April, the only goal of a league victory against Eintracht Frankfurt.
He was dropped from the first-team squad along with Chinedu Obasi at the end of November 2011 for showing up late for training, missing the league match against Bayer Leverkusen. He scored two more goals that season, against Wolfsburg and Borussia Mönchengladbach. In the 2012–13 season, Firmino made 36 appearances and scored seven goals.
In July 2013, Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow made a €12 million bid for Firmino. Hoffenheim captain Andreas Beck hailed Firmino’s development as “outstanding” in August 2013. On 27 March 2014, Firmino extended his contract with the club, signing a three-year extension. He finished the 2013–14 Bundesliga season tied as the fourth highest scorer with 16 goals, and was named the league’s Breakthrough Player.
On 23 June 2015, while he was competing for Brazil at the Copa América, Hoffenheim and Firmino agreed terms for him to transfer to Premier League club Liverpool for up to £29 million on conclusion of the tournament, subject to a work permit. Liverpool confirmed the signing the following day, subject to a medical. The deal was finalised on 4 July.
Firmino made his Liverpool debut in a pre-season friendly away to Swindon Town on 2 August, and his league debut a week later, replacing Jordon Ibe for the final 12 minutes of a 1–0 win at Stoke City. On 21 November, Firmino scored his first goal for Liverpool in a 4–1 victory over Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium. In January 2016, Firmino was described by Paul Little of the Irish Examiner as steadily improving during his first season in England, although an inability to combine with centre forward Christian Benteke drew criticism.
However, in 2016, Firmino’s form improved as manager Jürgen Klopp played him alone up front in a False 9 role. He scored braces against Arsenal and Norwich City that month; the latter performance, in which he also assisted in a 5–4 win, earned comparisons to Raheem Sterling. With his form improved, Firmino was voted to be Liverpool’s Player of the Month in January. Firmino ended the season as Liverpool’s league top scorer with ten goals.
On 23 August, Firmino scored his first goal of the 2016–17 season, scoring in a 5–0 win over Burton Albion in the second round of the EFL Cup. Firmino scored his first league goals of the season in a 4–1 win over Leicester City, scoring a brace, on 10 September. On 29 October, Firmino scored in a 4–2 win over Crystal Palace, and on 6 November he scored in a 6–1 over Watford; the latter result saw Liverpool move to 1st position in the league table, the first time under Klopp. On 27 December, he scored in a 4–1 win over Stoke City. On 21 January 2017, Firmino scored a brace in a 2–3 home defeat to Swansea City. On 4 March, he scored the opening goal in a 3–1 win over Arsenal. On 8 April, Firmino scored the winning goal in a 2–1 win over Stoke City, and also scored the winning goal in the game against West Bromwich Albion, which Liverpool won 1–0, on 16 April. Firmino finished the season with 12 goals in 38 appearances.
Before the start of the 2017–18 season, Firmino switched his shirt number to 9, with new signing Mohamed Salah taking his number 11. Firmino scored his first goal of the new season on 12 August, scoring a penalty in a 3–3 draw with Watford. On 23 August, Firmino scored in a 4–2 win over Hoffenheim in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League play-off, with Liverpool winning 6–3 on aggregate to qualify for the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League group stage. On 27 August, he scored the opening goal in a 4–0 win over Arsenal. On 13 September, Firmino scored and missed a penalty in a 2–2 draw with Sevilla in the first match of the Champions League. On 17 October, Firmino scored twice in a 7–0 Champions League away win over Maribor, helping Liverpool to the joint-largest away win of the competition; and the largest away win by an English club.
On 28 October, Firmino scored in a 3–0 win over Huddersfield Town. On 21 November, he scored twice in a 3–3 draw with Sevilla in the Champions League. On 2 December, Firmino scored twice in a 5–1 away win over Brighton & Hove Albion. On 6 December, he scored in a 7–0 win over Spartak Moscow in the Champions League. On 17 December, he scored in a 4–0 away win over Bournemouth; a result which saw Liverpool become the first team in Premier League history to win four consecutive away games by a margin of at least three goals. On 22 December, Firmino scored the equalizing goal in a 3–3 away draw with Arsenal. On 26 December, Firmino scored twice in a 5–0 win over Swansea City.
On 5 January 2018, during a FA Cup match against rivals Everton, Firmino was the subject of controversy following a clash with Everton defender Mason Holgate. Holgate pushed Firmino into the advertising boards, which was followed by the pair exchanging words, with Firmino seemingly insulting the player. Following the match, Holgate accused Firmino of racially abusing him, which he denied. A day later, the Football Association opened an investigation on the matter. Nearly two months later, after they had took statements from 12 different players, several referees and consulted two Portuguese lip-readers, the Football Association cleared Firmino of any offence as a result of “insufficient evidence”.
On 14 January, Firmino scored in a 4–3 home win over Manchester City; which saw Liverpool end City’s unbeaten league run. On 27 January, Firmino scored and missed a penalty in a 2–3 defeat to West Bromwich Albion in the fourth round of the FA Cup. On 30 January, he scored in a 3–0 away win over Huddersfield Town. On 11 February 2018, Firmino scored in a 2–0 away win over Southampton. On 14 February, Firmino scored in a 5–0 away win over Porto in the first leg of the Champions League round of sixteen. On 24 February, he scored in a 4–1 win over West Ham United. On 17 March, he scored in 5–0 win over Watford. On 10 April, he scored in a 2–1 win over Manchester City in the second leg of the quarter-finals of the Champions League; which saw Liverpool advance to the semi-finals with a 5–1 aggregate win.Four days later, on 14 April, he scored in a 3–0 win over Bournemouth. On 24 April, he scored twice in Liverpool’s 5–2 win over Roma in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals. On 29 April, Firmino signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool. Firmino started and played the whole 90 minutes in the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final, with Liverpool losing 3–1.
During the season, Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mané made up a prolific attacking quarter, dubbed the “Fab Four”, in reference to the rock band The Beatles, also from the same city as the club. Following the mid-season exit of Coutinho, the three remaining players were dubbed as the “Fab Three”, with the trio having a total of 91 goals between them at the end of the season. Firmino was Liverpool’s joint top goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League, together with Salah, with 11 goals. Firmino was also included in the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season. The 2017–18 season was Firmino’s most prolific in his Liverpool career; as he scored 27 goals in all competitions.
After going goalless in all three matches played in August, Firmino scored his first goal of the season in a 2–1 Premier League win over Leicester City on 1 September. On 15 September he scored in Liverpool’s 2–1 league win over Spurs at Wembley, a game that saw him leave the field 15 minutes before the end with an eye injury. Three days later he came off the bench to score the stoppage time winner in Liverpool’s 3–2 Champions League win against Paris Saint-Germain at Anfield. On 29 December, Firmino scored his first Liverpool hat-trick in a 5–1 win over Arsenal, scoring two goals in three minutes and a second half penalty, becoming the highest scoring Brazilian player in Premier League history. On 19 January 2019, he scored Liverpool’s 1000th goal at Anfield in the Premier League era when he netted in a 4–3 win over Crystal Palace.
On 1 June, Firmino started for Liverpool in the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final against Tottenham, making a comeback after missing the last few weeks of the season with injury. Firmino lasted 60 minutes before being substituted as Liverpool won the match 2–0 to claim the title.
On 14 August 2019, Firmino came off the bench in the 2019 UEFA Super Cup final against Chelsea in a match that Liverpool won 5–4 on penalties. The game had finished 2–2 after 120 minutes, with Firmino setting up both goals for Sadio Mané, before Firmino scored the first penalty in the shoot-out win.
Firmino said that it was his “dream” to play in the national team though he had no “contact with national team manager Dunga”. On 23 October 2014, Firmino received his first call up to Brazil national football team for the friendly matches against Turkey and Austria. He commented, “I’m very happy about the nomination and would especially like to thank the team”. He debuted in a 4–0 win over Turkey on 12 November, replacing fellow debutant Luiz Adriano for the last 17 minutes. Firmino scored his first goal six days later in the latter match, a 2–1 away win.
In May 2015, Firmino was included in Brazil’s 23-man squad for the 2015 Copa América to be held in Chile. On 21 June, he scored in a 2–1 defeat of Venezuela to qualify the Seleção for the knockout stage as Group C winners.
In May 2018 he was named in Tite’s final 23 man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. On 2 July, Firmino scored Brazil’s second goal in a 2–0 win over Mexico in the round of sixteen having come on as a late substitute.
In May 2019, Firmino was included in Brazil’s 23-man squad for the 2019 Copa América.
Style of Play
At Hoffenheim, Firmino primarily played as an attacking midfielder, or as a second striker, but was also utilised as a forward, winger or central midfielder, with Firmino using his speed, close control and vision wherever he is deployed. After initially starting as a left winger at Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers, new manager Jürgen Klopp utilised Firmino more centrally, initially as a False 9. However, after impressing under Klopp’s pressing system, Firmino established himself as Liverpool’s first choice centre-forward by the 2017–18 season. Ian Doyle of the Liverpool Echo referred to him as “a true Liverpool number nine”, whose “numbers are up there with Harry Kane and Sergio Agüero.”
Ryan Babel, a teammate of Firmino’s at Hoffenheim, described him as “A tricky player. He can dribble, shoot, he has a great shot, he can play a lot of through balls and his assists are very good”, while also praising a heading ability which would not be common amongst other players of Firmino’s slender build and relatively small stature, a unique trait which journalist and ESPN contributor Michael Cox has also noted. Babel also stated that Firmino had a humble mentality and no problems with attitude. Manager Hemerson Maria also stated that he was impressed with Firmino’s “strong personality and mentality.” In addition to his technical skills, creativity, link-up play, and goalscoring, Firmino has also been praised by his managers, teammates, and pundits for his positional sense, mobility, intelligent movement, and ability to make attacking runs off the ball, which often draws opposing players out of position and creates space for his teammates.
Due to his energy and defensive work-rate off the ball, Klopp has referred to Firmino as the “engine” that propels the team’s relentless counter-attacking system; “If he loses the ball, he fights for it back. If he loses it again, he fights for it. He looks like the engine of the team.” The suitability of Firmino’s playing style to Klopp’s pressing system has meant that Firmino was referred to as “Liverpool’s most important player” on several occasions during the 2016–17 and 2017–18 seasons. Due to Firmino’s wide range of skills, Thierry Henry described him as “the most complete striker in the [Premier] [L]eague.”
Firmino is also well known for his popular “no-look” goals.One of his best known goal celebrations, ‘the Matador’, features in the FIFA video game FIFA 19.
Firmino married Larissa Pereira in his hometown in June 2017. They have two daughters. Firmino has been given the affectionate nickname “Bobby” by Liverpool fans and players – a shortening of his first name “Roberto”.
In December 2016, Firmino was arrested for drink driving. He was fined £20,000 and had his driving licence revoked for a year when sentenced at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court in February 2017.
As of match played 1 June 2019
As of 8 July 2019
Scores and results list Brazil’s goal tally first
UEFA Champions League: 2018–19; runner-up: 2017–18
UEFA Super Cup: 2019
Football League Cup runner-up: 2015–16
UEFA Europa League runner-up: 2015–16
Copa América: 2019
UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season: 2017–18
Mohamed Salah Hamed Mahrous Ghaly (Arabic: محمد صلاح حامد محروس غالى Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [mæˈħam.mæd sˤɑˈlɑːħ ˈɣæːli]; born 15 June 1992) is an Egyptian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Liverpool and the Egypt national team. Considered one of the best players in the world, he is known for his finishing, dribbling, and speed.
Salah started his senior career with Cairo club El Mokawloon in the Egyptian Premier League in 2010, departing shortly thereafter to join Basel for an undisclosed fee. In Switzerland, he starred as he helped the club win the league in his debut season, winning the SAFP Golden Player Award in the process. Salah’s performances then attracted Premier League side Chelsea, and he joined the club for a £11 million fee in 2014. However, he was used sparingly in his debut season and was allowed to leave on loan to Serie A clubs Fiorentina and Roma, with the latter eventually signing him permanently for €15 million.
Following consistent match-winning performances in Rome to lead them to second-placed finish and a record points-tally in 2017, Salah returned to the Premier League in order to sign for Liverpool for a then club-record fee of £36.9 million. During his second spell in England, he adapted his game from a natural winger to a complete forward and quickly became the focal point of the team. Salah would go on to break the Premier League scoring record for a 38 game season, receiving the Premier League Golden Boot after registering a record 32 goals in 36 league games. His record-breaking performances saw him receive a number of accolades, including the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, the FWA Footballer of the Year and the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year awards. Salah also came third in the 2018 Best FIFA Men’s Player award. In the following season, he finished as the Premier League’s joint-top goalscorer, and helped the club win the UEFA Champions League.
At international level, Salah represented Egypt at youth level, winning a bronze medal in the Africa U-20 Cup of Nations, and participated in the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup, prior to debuting for the senior side later that year. Following his performances at the 2012 Summer Olympics. he was named CAF Most Promising African Talent of the Year. Since then, he has helped Egypt reach the final of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, and was top scorer during CAF qualification to help the team qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. For his performances, Salah was named CAF African Footballer of the Year, BBC African Footballer of the Year, and was selected in the CAF Team of the Year and Africa Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament.
An advocate of women’s equality in the Middle East – stating, “We need to change the way we treat women in our culture” – Salah was named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2019, and was one of the six cover stars on the magazine.
Salah played his youth football with El Mokawloon. He made his senior team debut in the Egyptian Premier League coming on as a substitute on 3 May 2010 in a 1–1 away draw against El Mansoura. During the 2010–11 season Salah continued earning minutes on the pitch, eventually becoming a regular in the team. He scored his first goal for them on 25 December 2010 in a 1–1 away draw against Al Ahly. He remained a regular for Al Mokawloon, appearing in every game of the 2011–12 season. Following the Port Said Stadium riot on 1 February 2012, the Egyptian Premier League was suspended, and on 10 March 2012, the Egyptian Football Association announced their decision to cancel the remainder of the season.
Swiss Super League club Basel had been monitoring Salah for some time, so following the Egyptian Premier League suspension, the club organised a friendly match with the Egypt U-23 team. The match took place on 16 March at the Stadion Rankhof in Basel, and despite only playing the second half, Salah scored twice, helping the Egyptians to a 4–3 win. Basel subsequently invited Salah to remain in the city for a week’s training. On 10 April 2012, it was announced that Salah had signed for Basel on a four-year contract starting from 15 June 2012.
2012–13: Development and Breakthrough
Salah scored on his unofficial debut on 23 June 2012 against Steaua București during a friendly match, a 4–2 defeat. He made his official Basel debut in a UEFA Champions League preliminary stage match against the Norwegian club Molde on 8 August, coming on as a substitute in the 74th minute. He made his league debut on 12 August against Thun, playing the full match. He scored his first league goal a week later, the second goal in the 2–0 home win against Lausanne. Salah scored his first Europa League goal in the quarter-finals on 11 April 2013, as Basel advanced to the semi-finals by beating Tottenham Hotspur 4–1 on penalties after a 4–4 aggregate draw. In the semi-final on 2 May, Salah scored against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, although they were beaten 2–5 on aggregate. Despite late disappointment in Europe, Basel comfortably won the Swiss Super League season 2012–13 Championship title and finished runners-up in the Swiss Cup.
2013–14: Final season and league championship
To the start of the 2013–14 Swiss Super League season Salah was member of the Basel team that won the 2013 Uhrencup. Salah scored on his first league appearance against Aarau on 13 July 2013. He scored his first Champions League goal a month later against Maccabi Tel Aviv on 6 August 2013 in the third qualifying round. Before the first leg on 30 July 2013, Salah did not take part in the UEFA-mandated pre-match handshakes with Maccabi players. Basel called the incident a “coincidence” and said it was not intended as a snub. Salah was on pressure from several Egyptian voices demanding from him not to travel to Israel and then criticizing his visit. On the return leg in Tel Aviv, he took part in the handshake line, but offered fist bumps rather than an open hand to Maccabi players. He scored twice against the Bulgarian league champions PFC Ludogorets Razgrad on 21 August 2013 in the play-off round. On 18 September 2013, Salah scored the equalizer against Chelsea in the 2–1 away win during the group stage. During the return tie on 26 November at the St. Jakob-Park, Salah scored the winning goal as Basel beat Chelsea for the second time with a 1–0 home win.
2013–14: Entry into first-team squad
On 23 January 2014, Chelsea announced that a deal had been agreed with Basel to bring Salah to London for a fee reported to be in the region of £11 million. Three days later the transfer was completed, making him the first Egyptian to sign for the Stamford Bridge club.
On 8 February, Salah made his debut for Chelsea in the Premier League, coming on as a substitute in the 3–0 win over Newcastle United. On 22 March, Salah scored his first goal for Chelsea against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in the London Derby, coming on as a substitute for Oscar, in a match which ended with a 6–0 win for the Blues. On 5 April, Salah opened the scoring and later won a penalty and an assist in Chelsea’s 3–0 win over Stoke City.
2014–15: Domestic success
Before the 2014–15 season, Salah’s future with Chelsea looked to be in a balance after reports suggested he could be forced to return to Egypt to carry out military service after his registration for an education scheme was rescinded by the Egyptian Minister of Higher Education. He was spared of military service after the meeting with the then Egyptian prime minister Ibrahim Mahlab, the Minister of Higher Education and the Egyptian national manager Shawky Gharib. Salah changed squad numbers from 15 to 17 for the start of the season, with his new number having been vacated by Eden Hazard changing to number 10.
Salah was rarely used during the season. On 28 October 2014, in a 2–1 win at League Two club Shrewsbury Town in the fourth round of the League Cup, he took a shot that went so far off target that it went for a throw-in. After the game, he and fellow winger André Schürrle were criticized publicly by manager José Mourinho. Although Salah only made three league appearances before his loan move to Fiorentina, Mourinho stated that he would receive a replica winner’s medal from the club for his contributions that season.
Loan to Fiorentina
On transfer deadline, 2 February 2015, Chelsea confirmed that Salah would play for the Italian club Fiorentina on an 18-month loan until the end of the 2015–16 season, as part of a transfer deal which saw Juan Cuadrado moving in the opposite direction, Salah chose the number 74 shirt in honor of the victims of the Port Said Stadium riot. Six days after signing, he made his Fiorentina debut coming off the bench in the 65th minute as a replacement for Joaquín in a 3–2 Serie A victory against Atalanta at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
Salah made his first start for Fiorentina on 14 February against Sassuolo, scoring his first goal for the club in the 30th minute. He then provided an assist to Khouma Babacar just two minutes after scoring; the match ended in a 3–1 win for Fiorentina. Twelve days after that, Salah scored his first European goal for Fiorentina, as his side advanced to the Round of 16 of the Europa League, beating Tottenham 3–1 on aggregate. Salah scored the winning goal for Fiorentina against Inter Milan on 1 March, his third goal in Serie A. Four days after that, Salah scored both of Fiorentina’s goals in their 2–1 win away to Juventus in the Coppa Italia semi-final first leg. At the end of the season, Fiorentina reportedly activated an option to make the loan move permanent, but Salah refused the move. Even though the loan agreement was for 18 months, Salah refused to return to Fiorentina and instead joined fellow Serie A club Roma.
Loan to Roma
On 6 August 2015, Salah joined Roma on a season-long loan for €5 million; with the option to make the deal permanent, for a reported €15 million. He wore the number 11 shirt. He made his debut on 22 August, as the new season began with a 1–1 draw at Hellas Verona. On 11 September, ACF Fiorentina filed a complaint to FIFA with the claim that Chelsea alleging breach of contract when they allowed Salah to join Roma on loan. On 20 September, Salah scored his first goal of the season against Sassuolo to help Roma salvage a point as the match ended in a 2–2 draw. He went on to score in his following two matches, a 2–1 loss against Sampdoria and a 5–1 win against Carpi. On 25 October, Salah returned to the Stadio Artemio Franchi, scoring the opener against his former Serie A side Fiorentina to help earn a fourth straight league win for Roma. In his return, Salah was also sent off after picking up a second yellow in the closing minutes of the game, only seconds after picking up his first yellow. On 4 November, he scored the opening goal of a 3–2 UEFA Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen.
On 2 February 2016, Salah scored in a 2–0 away win over Sassuolo. Ten days later, on 12 February, he scored in a 3–1 win over Carpi. On 21 February, he scored two goals in quick succession, in a 5–0 home win over Palermo. On 4 March, Salah scored twice in a 4–1 win over former club Fiorentina, overtaking them in the top three. A week later, on 11 March, he scored in a 1–1 draw with Bologna. On 2 May, he scored in a 3–2 away win over Genoa. On 14 May, he scored in a 3–1 away win over Milan on the last day of the league season, scoring the opening goal. At the end of the season, Salah was named Player of the Season, finishing as the club’s top goalscorer with 15 goals in all competitions (14 in Serie A) and six assists.
2016–17: Permanent transfer, Serie A runner-up
On 3 August 2016, Roma made the deal permanent. On 20 August 2016, Salah scored his first goal of the season in a 4–0 win over Udinese. On 11 September, he scored in a 3–2 win over Sampdoria. Ten days later, on 21 September, he scored in a 4–0 win over Crotone. On 29 September, he scored in a 4–0 win over Astra Giurgiu in the group stages of the UEFA Europa League. On 15 October, he scored in a 3–1 win over Napoli. On 6 November, Salah scored a hat-trick in a 3–0 win over Bologna, his first club career hat-trick. On 9 March, he scored Roma’s opening goal in an eventual 2–4 defeat to Lyon in the first leg of the round of sixteen in the UEFA Europa League. On 19 March, he scored in a 3–1 win over Sassuolo. On 9 April, he scored in a 3–0 win over Bologna. On 24 April, he scored twice in a 4–1 away league win over Pescara. On 20 May, he scored in a 5–3 away win over Chievo. On 28 May, in the final game of the season, Salah was substituted for legendary captain Francesco Totti, who was playing his final game with the club, in a 3–2 win over Genoa.
2017–18: Record-breaking individual success
On 22 June 2017, Salah agreed a transfer to Liverpool. He signed a long-term contract with the Reds for an initial €42m fee that could rise to €50m. The fee was a club record, eclipsing the £35m spent on Andy Carroll in 2011. He was assigned the number 11 shirt previously worn by Roberto Firmino who instead switched to number 9. He joined the club on 1 July upon the opening of the summer transfer window, becoming Liverpool’s first Egyptian player. He scored on his debut against Watford in a 3–3 draw on 12 August. On 24 August, Salah scored his second goal for Liverpool, in a 2017–18 UEFA Champions League play-off round 4–2 win (6–3 agg) against Hoffenheim, his first goal at Anfield. Three days later, Salah scored and assisted a goal in a 4–0 victory over Arsenal. For his performances in August, Salah was awarded Player of the Month by Liverpool supporters. On 17 October, Salah netted twice in a 7–0 Champions League win over Maribor, helping Liverpool to the joint-largest ever away win in the competition, and the largest away win by an English club.
On 26 November, Salah scored the opener and refused to celebrate in a 1–1 home draw with his former team Chelsea out of respect for the club as well as victims of the North Sinai Mosque attack two days earlier. Salah hit the top of the Premier League goal scoring charts by scoring twice after coming on as a substitute away at Stoke City on 29 November in a 3–0 win. The following month, Salah netted in a 4–0 win over AFC Bournemouth; a result which saw Liverpool become the first team in Premier League history to win four consecutive away league matches by a margin of at least three goals. In the process, he also became the joint-second fastest player to reach 20 goals for Liverpool on his 26th appearance, only behind George Allan who reached the milestone in 19 appearances in 1895.
On 17 March 2018, Salah scored four goals in a 5–0 win over Watford, which was his first hat-trick for Liverpool. In this game, he also broke a record of scoring 36 times in his debut season for Liverpool, and also became the leading goalscorer in Europe’s top five leagues – overtaking Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Tottenham striker Harry Kane. Following Salah’s record-breaking goal exploits former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard stated “we are witnessing the start of greatness”.
On 22 April 2018, Salah was awarded the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award, having earlier been named in the PFA Team of the Year for the Premier League. Two days later, he scored a brace in a 5–2 Champions League semi-final first leg win over former club, Roma. In doing so, he simultaneously became the first player from Africa and the first Liverpool player to score 10 goals in a single campaign in the tournament. His double also took him to 43 goals for the season across all competitions, surpassing Roger Hunt’s tally of 42, and making him Liverpool’s second-highest goalscorer in a single season, behind Ian Rush. He had previously also broken the club’s record for the Premier League era, surpassing Robbie Fowler’s total of 36 goals set in the 1995–96 campaign, and Fernando Torres’ record of 33 for the most goals by a Liverpool player in a debut season. After his two goals and assists in the first leg against Roma, Salah featured in the second leg as Liverpool beat Roma 6–7 on aggregate to qualify for the final for the first time in eleven years. He would then become the Premier League’s all-time goalscorer for a 38 game season, registering his 32nd league goal in a 4–0 win against Brighton & Hove Albion en route to being awarded the Premier League Golden Boot.
In the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, Salah injured his left shoulder in the 30th minute. After initially carrying on, he left the field in tears after going to ground in a challenge with Madrid defender Sergio Ramos; the match ended in a 3–1 defeat. The Egyptian FA stated that this would have no effect on his playing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and that Salah would still be named in the team’s final squad on 4 June. The day after the match, Ramos wrote a message and sent him good wishes.
2018–19: Premier League runners-up, European champions
On 2 July 2018, Salah signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool. Manager Jürgen Klopp said the news was important as a statement of intent in terms of Liverpool’s status in the football world in having Salah commit himself further to the club. On 12 August, Salah scored his first goal of the season and Liverpool’s first overall goal of the season, in a 4–0 win over West Ham United. On 20 August, in a 2–0 away win over Crystal Palace, Salah played a part in both of Liverpool’s goals; winning a penalty for the first after being kicked in the shins twice, and providing an assist for Sadio Mané for the second. On 25 August, Salah scored the only goal in Liverpool’s 1–0 win over Brighton.
On 30 August 2018, Salah was named on the three-man shortlist for the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year, coming in third place, and was also included on the three-man shortlist for the UEFA Forward of the Season, coming in second place. On 3 September he was named on the three-man shortlist for the Best FIFA Men’s Player, finishing third. Amid controversy and online protest, Salah received the 2018 FIFA Puskás Award for goal of the year, the winning strike his goal at Anfield in his first Merseyside derby. On 24 October, Salah scored twice against Red Star Belgrade in the UEFA Champions League group stage, with his second goal his 50th for the club. With 50 goals in 65 games he is the fastest player in Liverpool history to reach the half century.
“I have sacrificed a lot for my career, to come from a village to go to Cairo, and to be an Egyptian at this level is unbelievable for me.” — Salah after winning the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final.
On 8 December, Salah scored a hat-trick in a 4–0 away win over Bournemouth, to move Liverpool to the top of the league table. On 11 December, he scored the winning goal in a 1–0 win over Napoli in their final Champions League group fixture, the result qualifying Liverpool to the round of sixteen. On 19 January 2019, he scored his 50th Premier League goal with a brace in a 4–3 win over Crystal Palace, reaching the tally in 72 appearances. In doing so, he became the joint-fourth fastest player to achieve the milestone, alongside Fernando Torres, and behind only Andy Cole, Alan Shearer and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
In February 2019, West Ham said they were investigating a video which allegedly showed fans racially abusing Salah, including for being Muslim. On 5 April, he scored his 50th Premier League goal for Liverpool in a 3–1 win over Southampton and in the process broke Torres’ record to become the fastest player to reach the milestone for the club, doing so in his 69th appearance. It also saw him become the third fastest to player to reach the milestone for a single club in the Premier League era, behind Shearer for Blackburn Rovers, in 66 appearances, and van Nistelrooy for Manchester United, in 68 appearances. Later that month, he scored the second goal in a 2–0 win over Chelsea which helped Liverpool earn a club-record-equaling 26th win for the Premier League campaign; and the club’s second-highest ever wins return in the top-flight after the record of 30 set in 1979. On 26 April, he made his 100th appearance for Liverpool and broke the record jointly held by Roger Hunt and Sam Raybould for the player with the most goals in his first century of appearances for the club, netting twice in a 5–0 win over Huddersfield to take his tally to 69. On 1 June, he scored Liverpool’s first goal in a 2–0 win over Tottenham in the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final from a penalty. Salah’s goal, which he scored in the opening two minutes of the match, was the second fastest goal ever scored in a Champions League final, slower only than Paolo Maldini’s effort for A.C. Milan against Liverpool in the 2005 final.
On 9 August 2019, Salah scored Liverpool’s second goal in a 4–1 win against Norwich City in the opening game of the 2019–20 Premier League season. In the 2019 UEFA Super Cup final on 14 August, Salah scored Liverpool’s fifth and ultimately decisive penalty in a 5–4 penalty shoot-out win against Chelsea, after the game had finished 2–2 after 120 minutes.
Salah made 11 appearances for the Egypt U-20 team and 11 for the Egypt U-23 team, representing Egypt in both 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 2012 Summer Olympics, scoring a penalty against Argentina in the round of sixteen of the former tournament, with Egypt losing the match 1–2.
Salah was selected for the youth squad to play at the 2012 Summer Olympics scoring in all three of the team’s group games. In their opening match on 26 July, he scored Egypt’s second goal in a 2–3 defeat to Brazil he scored the equalizer in their 1–1 draw against New Zealand played on 29 July, before scoring Egypt’s opening goal in a 3–1 win over Belarus in their final group stage game played on 1 August, securing advancement into the knockout stage of the tournament, where Egypt were eliminated following a 0–3 quarter-final defeat to Japan on 4 August.
On 3 September 2011, Salah made his debut for the Egypt national football team in the 2–1 away defeat by Sierra Leone. He scored his first goal for Egypt’s first team in the 3–0 win against Niger a month later, on 8 October, in qualifying for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.
On 10 June 2012, he scored a goal in the 93rd minute in stoppage time against Guinea to give Egypt an important 3–2 away victory in a 2014 World Cup qualifier. On 9 June 2013, Salah scored a hat-trick in a 4–2 away win against Zimbabwe as Egypt won their fourth consecutive match in the World Cup qualifiers. A week later in the following match, he scored the only goal away to Mozambique, putting Egypt into the final qualifying group. On 10 September, Salah scored his sixth tournament goal in a 4–2 win over Guinea, securing Egypt a 100% record to finish their qualifying group and becoming the joint-top scorer among all African teams in the qualification stages.
On 10 October 2014, Salah scored in a 2–0 win over Botswana, also scoring in the return fixture on five days later on 15 October, in qualifying for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. On 19 November, Salah scored the opening goal in a 1–2 away defeat to Tunisia, as Egypt missed out on qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations finals for a third consecutive time, with their latest successful qualification being in 2010, when they won the competition for a third straight time.
Salah was a member of the Pharaohs’ squad for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations held in Gabon. On 25 January, he scored in Egypt’s 1–0 win over Ghana to secure first place in Group D. He went all the way to the final with Egypt, scoring twice and assisting two times in 6 games, earning him a place in the CAF Team of the Tournament.
Salah was the top scorer for Egypt with five goals during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification, including both goals in the decisive 2–1 victory over Congo, one of which was a penalty in the last minute to make the Pharaohs reach their first World Cup finals since 1990. Despite doubts over his fitness following his shoulder injury, Salah was included in Egypt’s 29-man provisional squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and was included in their final 23-man squad on 4 June. He missed Egypt’s opening match against Uruguay on 15 June, which the Pharaohs lost 1–0, conceding in the 89th minute. On 19 June, Salah scored a penalty in Egypt’s 3–1 defeat to hosts Russia at the Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg. In Egypt’s final group game on 25 June, Salah scored his second goal of the World Cup with a chip over the goalkeeper in Egypt’s 2–1 defeat to Saudi Arabia at Volgograd Arena.
On 8 September, in a 6–0 win over Niger in qualifying for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, Salah scored two goals, provided two assists and also missed two penalties. His first penalty, in the first minute of the game, was saved, while the second he converted the loose ball after it was initially saved.
On 16 June 2019, Salah provided two assists after coming on as a substitute in 3–1 win over Guinea in friendly warm-up game for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations on home soil, wearing the captain’s armband for the first time ever at his international career. On 26 June, Salah scored his first goal of the tournament in Egypt’s second group match, a 2–0 win over DR Congo; he was also involved in the opening goal of the match, which was scored by captain Ahmed Elmohamady.
Style of Play
A quick, mobile, hard-working and tactical player, with good technique and an eye for goal, Salah is predominantly known for his speed, movement, clinical finishing, agility, dribbling skills, first touch, and ball control, as well as his ability to use both his pace and flair on the ball in order to beat opponents, and create scoring opportunities for himself or his teammates. A versatile forward, he primarily plays as a winger on the right flank, a position which allows him to cut into the centre onto his stronger left foot, and either shoot on goal or play quick exchanges with other players and make runs in behind the defence towards goal; he can also play in the centre behind the main striker as either an attacking midfielder or second striker.
On his increased threat in front of goal since joining Liverpool, Salah credits Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp’s request for him to occupy more advanced central positions, often operating as a main striker, with the forward telling ESPN, “I play closer to the goal than any club before.” Salah initially started his career at the left-back position, however, following a 4–0 win over the youth team of Egyptian club ENPPI, Salah was in tears for not scoring after missing several clear chances; this made his coach realize his passion for scoring goals, forcing him to move him to a forward position.
While playing Al Mokawloon, American soccer coach Bob Bradley saw Salah play and noted his prodigious speed, explosiveness, and intelligence on the pitch, already evident at his young age. Upon signing for Chelsea, José Mourinho said of Salah: “He’s young, he’s fast, he’s creative, he’s enthusiastic. When we analysed him he looks the kind of humble personality on the pitch, ready to work for the team.” Mourinho added that Salah has “similar qualities” with “talented players” that he had worked with, such as Gareth Bale and Arjen Robben. His technical skills, pace, left foot, goalscoring, position and direct playing style led him to be nicknamed the “Egyptian Messi”, in the Italian media. Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldo – whom Salah idolized while growing up – stated, “Salah is an incredible player with a tremendous quality. He looks like Messi.” Salah has also received praise for having never celebrated scoring a goal against any of his former clubs.
Mohamed Salah and his wife, Maggi, married in 2013. Their daughter, Makka, born in 2014, is named in honour of the Islamic holy city of Mecca. Salah is Muslim and often celebrates goals by performing the sujud.
Salah features in EA Sports’ FIFA video game series: on FIFA 18 he had a rating of 87 and a potential of 90 following his displays for Liverpool. In a 2018 poll by FIFPLAY, a website run and made for the game’s fans, Salah ranked first (ahead of Lionel Messi) on who should be the global cover star for FIFA 19, obtaining 77 percent of the total number of votes.
Active on social media, Salah has over 30 million Instagram followers, the most for a person from Egypt.
Salah has a sponsorship deal with sportswear and equipment supplier Adidas: he wears Adidas X18 football boots. He appeared in an Adidas 2018 World Cup commercial along with other players in the Adidas stable, including David Beckham, Lionel Messi and Paul Pogba, and singer Pharrell Williams.
In March 2018, Salah appeared in an advertisement for Vodafone Egypt. Filmed visiting several Merseyside landmarks, the video was originally released in Arabic (but was also translated to English).
Salah is active in regeneration projects in Nagrig, his hometown where 65% of people live in poverty, donating money to help build a school and hospital. The project includes the construction of an Al-Azhar institute and an ambulance unit. In an interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm, father of the Egyptian footballer Salah Ghaly, claimed that his son refused to accept any financial assistance with the project.
During his time in Egypt, Salah’s family was once robbed, however, the thief was caught and arrested by police, with Salah’s father preparing to press charges against him, but Mohamed convinced him to drop the case. Afterwards, Salah helped the thief financially, giving him some money and trying to find him a job. In February 2018, following a match against Tottenham, Salah donated a replica shirt to young supporter Mohamed Abdel Karim, who was previously pictured wearing a jumper reading Salah’s name and shirt number. Moreover, Mohamed Salah has helped more than 450 families by giving them monthly allowances and he also helped the government by giving approximately $300,000 when the country was in a bad situation.
On 30 July 2013, while playing for Basel in a UEFA Champions League qualifying match against Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv, Salah appeared to have refused to shake hands with several of the club’s Israeli players, and instead appeared to have preoccupied himself with changing his boots at the side of the pitch during the ceremony. His club maintained afterwards that it had been a “coincidence” and that no snub had been intended. In the return leg on 6 July played in Tel Aviv, instead of offering an open hand Salah appeared to have only offered fist bumps to the Maccabi players. He was booed by the home fans for the rest of the match, in which he scored once as Basel progressed into the next round.
At the 2018 FIFA World Cup, at which the Egypt national team were based in Chechnya, the autonomous republic presided by Ramzan Kadyrov, Salah posed for a photo with the Chechen leader after the latter made a visit to the team’s hotel and requested a photo shoot with him at the stadium during their team training. Kadyrov later gave him honorary citizenship of the Chechen Republic in a public dinner made for the whole Egypt national team and officials. Several western news outlets and NGOs criticised Salah and the EFA for their interactions with Kadyrov, citing the president’s alleged human rights abuses and that the player is used for ‘political propaganda’ by the dictator during Egypt’s national team training camp in Chechnya. Salah’s relationship with the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) was reported to have soured during the World Cup, after his image was used without his permission to promote the national team’s sponsor, WE, the mobile service of Telecom Egypt. At the time of the incident, Salah was sponsored by WE’s telecommunications rivals, Vodafone.
In August 2018, Liverpool referred Salah to Merseyside police after footage was posted online which showed him allegedly using a phone while driving in traffic. Salah’s indiscretion was brought to light after autograph hunter Rob Wylie posted a video online apparently showing the Egyptian ignoring requests for autographs. Wylie, whose conduct had previously resulted in Liverpool instituting a policy which banned players giving autographs from their vehicles, received widespread criticism from the club’s supporters and had to temporarily shut down his website.
In Popular Culture
Liverpool fans created a chant to the tune of Dodgy’s “Good Enough”, saying that if Salah continued to score goals, they would convert to Islam – “If he’s good enough for you, he’s good enough for me, if he scores another few, then I’ll be Muslim too.” Salah gave his approval to the chant, and it has been cited as an example of inclusivity. Salah is devout to a degree that many other well-known Muslims sports figures are not, and his charm and apolitical persona have made him a popular figure in the UK. During his goal celebration, Salah lays in the prostrate position to thank god in sujud. It appears in FIFA 19.
Salah is nicknamed “The Pharaoh” by the press and his fans. Salah was given the nickname “Egyptian King” by Liverpool supporters, arising from a chant set to the tune of “Sit Down” by English band James.
Following his goal that led Egypt to the World Cup finals for the first time since 1990, a school in Egypt was named after him.Following Egypt’s exit from the World Cup, Salah stayed in his home country for his pre-season holiday. In late June, his address was accidentally leaked on Facebook. After this, crowds of fans showed up at Salah’s house, with Salah greeting the fans and signing autographs for some, although according to reports in Spain, police did arrive to cordon off his house.
During Liverpool’s pre-season tour in the U.S. an American artist named Brandan Odums created a mural in the Times Square area displaying Salah in the Egypt kit, with the player later posting an image on social media posing next to it. In Egypt, several murals have also been created displaying Salah’s likeness, including one in the capital of Cairo.
As of match played 14 August 2019
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
a. Salah scored 22 goals, which was tied with teammate Sadio Mané and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the most in the 2018–19 season b. Includes Egypt Cup, Swiss Cup, FA Cup and Coppa Italia c. Includes League Cup/EFL Cup d. Includes other competitive competitions such as the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup e. Two appearances in UEFA Champions League, fourteen appearances and two goals in UEFA Europa League f. a.b.c.d.e.f. Appearances in UEFA Champions League g. Appearances in UEFA Europa League h.Two appearances in UEFA Champions League, six appearances and two goals in UEFA Europa League
As of match played 6 July 2019
Appearances and goals by national team and year
As of match played 30 June 2019. Egypt score listed first, score column indicates score after each Salah goal.
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
Swiss Super League: 2012–13, 2013–14
UEFA Champions League: 2018–19; runner-up: 2017–18
UEFA Super Cup: 2019
African U-20 Championship third place: 2011
Africa Cup of Nations runner-up: 2017
CAF Most Promising Talent of the Year: 2012
UAFA Golden Boy: 2012
Swiss Super League Player of the Year: 2013
El Heddaf Arab Footballer of the Year: 2013, 2017, 2018
A.S. Roma Player of the Season: 2015–16
Globe Soccer Best Arab Player of the Year: 2016
CAF Team of the Year: 2016, 2017, 2018
CAF Africa Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament: 2017
Premier League Player of the Month: November 2017, February 2018, March 2018
PFA Player of the Month: November 2017, December 2017, February 2018, March 2018, December 2018,January 2019, April 2019
BBC African Footballer of the Year: 2017, 2018
African Footballer of the Year: 2017, 2018
BBC Goal of the Month: December 2017, February 2018, April 2019
Goal Arab Player of the Year: 2017, 2018
PFA Players’ Player of the Year: 2017–18
FWA Footballer of the Year: 2017–18
Premier League Golden Boot: 2017–18, 2018–19
Premier League Player of the Season: 2017–18
PFA Team of the Year: 2017–18 Premier League
Liverpool Fans Player of the Season Award 2017–18
Liverpool Players’ Player of the Season Award: 2017–18
PFA Fans’ Player of the Year: 2017–18
UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season: 2017–18
Onze d’Argent: 2017–18
Honorary Citizen of the Chechen Republic: 2018
UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award: 2018 (3rd place)
UEFA Champions League Forward of the Season: 2017–18 (2nd place)
FIFA Puskás Award: 2018
The Best FIFA Men’s Player: 2018 (3rd place)
FIFA FIFPro World XI: 2nd Team: 2018
Goal 50: 2018 (3rd place)
Football Supporters’ Federation Player of the Year: 2018
Ballon d’Or: 2018 (6th place)
Time 100: 2019
ESM Team of the Year: 2017–18
Liverpool Goal of the Season: 2018–19 (vs. Chelsea)
IFFHS Men’s World Team: 2018
Most goals in a 38-game Premier League season: 32 goals in 2017–18
Most games scored in during a Premier League season: 24 games in 2017–18
Most goals by an African player in a Premier League season: 32 goals in 2017–18
Most Premier League Player of the Month awards in a single season: 3 (November 2017, February 2018 and March 2018)
Most left-footed goals scored in a season: 25 goals in 2017–18
Most teams scored against in a Premier League season: 17 teams (shared with Ian Wright and Robin van Persie)
First player to outscore three Premier League teams in a Premier League season: West Brom (31), Swansea City (28) and Huddersfield Town (28) in 2017–18
Most goals by an African player in a UEFA Champions League season: 11 goals in 2017–18
Most goals in a debut season: 44 goals in 2017–18
Most European goals in a season: 11 goals in 2017–18 (shared with Roberto Firmino)
Most games scored in during a single campaign: 34 games in 2017–18
Most top-flight goals in a season by a Liverpool player: 32 goals in Premier League 2017–18 (shared with Ian Rush)
Most Liverpool Player of the Month awards in a season: 7 months in 2017–18
Fastest player to Score 50 Goals for Liverpool: 65 games in 2018–19
Fastest Liverpool player to Score 50 Premier League Goals: 69 games in 2018–19
Most goals in the first 100 appearances in all competition in Liverpool club history: 69 goals
Egypt’s all-time highest scorer in FIFA World Cup history: 2 Goals in FIFA World Cup 2018 (shared with Abdulrahman Fawzi, 2 Goals in FIFA World Cup 1934)
Egypt’s all-time highest scorer in CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualification: 14 goals
Highest-scoring Egyptian in Serie A history: 35 goals in 81 games
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF) joint top scorer: 6 goals (shared with Mohamed Aboutrika and Asamoah Gyan)
2018 FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF) joint top scorer: 5 goals (shared with Préjuce Nakoulma)
A.S Roma top scorer: 15 goals in 2015–16
A.S Roma top assist provider: 15 assists in 2016–17
Liverpool top scorer (2): 44 goals in 2017–18, 27 goals in 2018–19
The 2019 UEFA Super Cup was the 44th edition of the UEFA Super Cup, an annual football match organised by UEFA and contested by the reigning champions of the two main European club competitions, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League. The match featured two English sides, Liverpool, the winners of the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League, and Chelsea, the winners of the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League. The match was played at Vodafone Park in Istanbul, Turkey on 14 August 2019. The match was the first all-English UEFA Super Cup, and the eighth overall Super Cup to feature two teams from the same country.
For the first time, the video assistant referee (VAR) system was used in the competition.
Liverpool won the match 5–4 on penalties following a 2–2 draw after extra time for their fourth UEFA Super Cup title.
This was the first UEFA Super Cup held in Turkey, and the third time a UEFA club competition final was held in the country, after the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium and the 2009 UEFA Cup Final at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, both also in Istanbul.
The stadium is the home ground of Turkish club Beşiktaş. UEFA regulations regarding naming rights of non-tournament sponsors required that the stadium be referred to as Beşiktaş Park in all UEFA materials.
For the first time ever, an open bidding process was launched on 9 December 2016 by UEFA to select the venues of the club competition finals (UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Women’s Champions League, and UEFA Super Cup). Associations had until 27 January 2017 to express interest, and bid dossiers had to be submitted by 6 June 2017.
UEFA announced on 3 February 2017 that nine associations expressed interest in hosting, and confirmed on 7 June 2017 that seven associations submitted bids for the 2019 UEFA Super Cup:
Bidding associations for 2019 UEFA Super Cup
The following associations expressed interest in hosting but eventually did not submit bids:
Hungary: Groupama Arena, Budapest
Scotland: Hampden Park, Glasgow
The bid evaluation report was published by UEFA on 14 September 2017. Vodafone Park was selected as the venue by the UEFA Executive Committee on 20 September 2017.
The match was the first UEFA Super Cup to feature two English teams, after all-English finals in both of UEFA’s seasonal tournaments; Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League and Chelsea beat Arsenal in the Europa League. The match was the eighth overall Super Cup to feature two teams from the same country, previously achieved five times by Spanish teams (2006, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018) and twice by Italian teams (1990 and 1993). This also ensured that it would be the first Super Cup to be won by an English team since Liverpool in 2005.
This was the eleventh meeting between both clubs in UEFA competition. Liverpool and Chelsea were drawn against each other in five successive Champions League seasons between 2004–05 and 2008–09. Chelsea have won three of these meetings (including one after extra time) to Liverpool’s two, with the other five ending in draws. Each side has advanced against the other two times apiece, with the other tie coming in the 2005–06 UEFA Champions League group stage as Livepool’s unique qualifying situation that season did not grant them association protection.
On 2 August 2019, UEFA named French official Stéphanie Frappart as the referee for the match, marking the first time in history a woman would referee the final of a UEFA men’s competition. Frappart has been a FIFA referee since 2009, and had officiated at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in the month prior, where she was appointed as the referee for the final. She also previously officiated at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, 2016 Summer Olympics and UEFA Women’s Euro 2017, and became the first woman to referee in Ligue 1 in April 2019. Her compatriot Manuela Nicolosi was chosen as one of the assistant referees, along with Irish official Michelle O’Neill, while Cüneyt Çakır of Turkey was chosen as the fourth official. French referee Clément Turpin was named the video assistant referee, presiding over the first use of the technology in the UEFA Super Cup. His fellow countryman François Letexier was named as one of the assistant video assistant referees for the match, along with Massimiliano Irrati of Italy, while Mark Borsch of Germany offside VAR.
Chelsea who took the lead after 36 minutes when a pass from Christian Pulisic played in Giroud on the left and his first-time left-foot shot found the right corner of the net. Pusilic had a second goal ruled out shortly after for offside after confirmation from VAR. Sadio Mané made it 1–1 after 48 minutes when he scored from close range at the second attempt after a flick past the goalkeeper from substitute Roberto Firmino. The match went to extra-time and Sadio Mané got his second goal of the match in the 95th minute with a side-foot into the top right-hand corner of the net after Roberto Firmino found him with a cut-back from the left.
Chelsea were awarded a penalty six minutes later when Adrián was adjudged to have brought down Tammy Abraham when he ran onto a pass in the penalty area. Jorginho scored to make it 2–2 with a low shot to the right corner. The match went to a penalty shoot-out and with the score at 5–4 Tammy Abraham saw his low shot saved by Adrián with his right leg to win the game for Liverpool.
The Champions League winners were designated as the “home” team for administrative purposes.
Man of the Match: Sadio Mané (Liverpool)
Assistant Referees: Manuela Nicolosi (France) Michelle O’Neill (Republic of Ireland) Fourth Official: Cüneyt Çakır (Turkey) Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Clément Turpin (France) Assistant Video Assistant Referees: François Letexier (France) Massimiliano Irrati (Italy) Offside Video Assistant Referee: Mark Borsch (Germany)
30 minutes of extra time if necessary
Penalty shoot-out if scores still level
Twelve named substitutes
Maximum of three substitutions, with a fourth allowed in extra time
Istanbul is the venue for the first all-English UEFA Super Cup as European champions Liverpool take on Chelsea.
The UEFA Super Cup will be an all-English affair for the first time as Liverpool take on Chelsea at the Beşiktaş Park in Istanbul.
Liverpool, who qualified by claiming their sixth European Cup in Madrid in June, are making their sixth UEFA Super Cup appearance, and are bidding to lift the trophy for the fourth time.
This is Chelsea’s fourth UEFA Super Cup match; having won the first, in 1998, they have lost on their last two appearances.
Whoever wins in Istanbul will claim England’s eighth UEFA Super Cup, fewer only than Spain (15) and Italy (nine). An English side has not triumphed since Liverpool’s 2005 success; Premier League clubs have been beaten on their four subsequent appearances, including defeats for Chelsea in 2012 and 2013.
This will also be the first time a Spanish club has not won the UEFA Super Cup since 2013, when Bayern München beat Chelsea on penalties in Prague.
Seven UEFA Super Cup finals have previously been contested by domestic rivals: two all-Italian ones, and five involving Spanish teams including four since 2014, most recently Atlético Madrid beating Real Madrid last year.
UEFA Super Cup Pedigree
The Reds’ record in the UEFA Super Cup is 3 Win and 2 Loss
1977 W 7-1 v Hamburg (agg: 1-1 a, 6-0 h)
1978 L 3-4 v Anderlecht (agg: 1-3 a, 2-1 h)
1984 L 0-2 v Juventus
2001 W 3-2 v Bayern München
2005 W 3-1 v CSKA Moskva (aet)
Liverpool won the competition in 1977 and 2005 as European champions (having knocked out Chelsea in the latter semi-final), and in 2001 as UEFA Cup holders. However they lost (as European Cup holders) in the 1978 and 1984 games.
The 6-0 second-leg win against Hamburg in 1977 equalled the biggest win in a UEFA Super Cup game, matching Ajax’s defeat of Milan in 1973. Terry McDermott’s hat-trick against Hamburg is one of only two in a UEFA Super Cup match; the other came against Chelsea, scored by Atlético’s Radamel Falcao in 2012.
Victory would take Liverpool level with Real Madrid on four UEFA Super Cups, fewer only than Barcelona and AC Milan’s five.
This is Chelsea’s fourth appearance in the UEFA Super Cup, with the record W1 L2:
1998 W 1-0 v Real Madrid
2012 L 1-4 v Atlético Madrid
2013 L 2-2 aet, 4-5 pens v Bayern München
Chelsea’s 1998 UEFA Super Cup triumph came after they had won the previous season’s UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup; they lost in 2012 as UEFA Champions League winners and in 2013 having won that year’s UEFA Europa League.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard was captain of the team beaten by Atlético in 2012 and Bayern 12 months later. César Azpilicueta was an unused substitute in that 2013 showpiece.
The Blues would become the tenth side to win multiple UEFA Super Cups with victory in Istanbul.
This is the sides’ 11th meeting in UEFA competition, all since 2005, with the previous ten having all come in the UEFA Champions League. Five of those matches were drawn, with Liverpool recording two wins to Chelsea’s three – and only one game was won by a margin of more than one goal.
Their paths first crossed in Europe in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League semi-finals, Liverpool’s Luis García scoring the only goal of the tie four minutes into the second leg at Anfield; the Reds went on to beat AC Milan in a dramatic final in Istanbul.
After two goalless draws in the following season’s group stage, each side won 1-0 at home in the 2006/07 semi-finals; Liverpool prevailed, winning the Anfield penalty shoot-out 4-1. They again met Milan in the final, losing 2-1 in Athens.
Chelsea reached their first UEFA Champions League final with an extra-time victory against Liverpool in the 2007/08 semi-finals. After a 1-1 first-leg draw at Anfield, the London club won 3-2 after 120 minutes at Stamford Bridge, Lampard scoring their second goal from the penalty spot. The current Chelsea manager was also on target in the final, against Manchester United in Moscow, but his side were defeated 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Lampard also scored in the clubs’ most recent European match, in the second leg of the 2008/09 quarter-final. Chelsea won 3-1 at Anfield in the first game – the only UEFA fixture between the sides to be settled by more than one goal – before a remarkable 4-4 draw in west London in which Lampard scored Chelsea’s third and fourth goals. The Blues therefore progressed to the semi-finals, where they lost on away goals to Barcelona.
Overall, of the 181 fixtures between the clubs, Liverpool have recorded 77 wins to Chelsea’s 63 with 41 draws. In 2018/19 Chelsea won 2-1 at Anfield in the League Cup third round thanks to goals from Emerson Palmieri and Eden Hazard; in the Premier League, the game at Stamford Bridge finished 1-1 before a 2-0 Liverpool victory on Merseyside, Sadio Mané (51) and Mohamed Salah (53) scoring early in the second half.
In domestic cup finals, Chelsea beat Liverpool 3-2 after extra time in the 2004/05 League Cup decider – José Mourinho’s first trophy as Blues manager – and 2-1 in the FA Cup in May 2012. Lampard featured in both games for Chelsea, with Jordan Henderson in the Liverpool line-up for the latter.
Liverpool qualified by winning their sixth European Cup in 2018/19, beating Tottenham 2-0 at the Estadio Metropolitano in Madrid on 1 June in the second all-English final thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah, a penalty, and Divock Origi.
That stretched the Reds’ unbeaten run against English clubs to six matches (W4 D2), since that 3-1 home defeat by Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg in April 2009. They have won eight of their 21 matches against domestic rivals in UEFA competition (D8 L5), including the last three having beaten Manchester City home (3-0) and away (2-1) in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
Liverpool’s record in last season’s UEFA Champions League was W8 D1 L4 F24 A12. They have won five of their last six European fixtures (L1).
The Reds have, however, lost six of their last nine UEFA competition matches outside England – although they have won three of the last four.
Istanbul looms large in the Reds’ history; they came from 3-0 down to win the 2005 UEFA Champions League final against AC Milan on penalties at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium, but have yet to win a game outright in the city, their five visits having ended in three defeats and two draws.
Liverpool lost 2-1 to Beşiktaş in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League group stage at the Inönü Stadium – the venue that was knocked down to build Beşiktaş Park. They also lost on penalties at Beşiktaş in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League round of 32 after each side had won 1-0 at home.
Liverpool’s record in four UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W3 L1:
4-2 v Roma, 1983/84 European Champion Clubs’ Cup final
3-2 v AC Milan, 2004/05 UEFA Champions League final
4-1 v Chelsea, 2006/07 UEFA Champions League semi-final
4-5 v Beşiktaş, 2014/15 UEFA Europa League round of 32
The Blues were UEFA Europa League winners in 2018/19, beating Arsenal 4-1 in the competition’s first all-English final since Tottenham beat Wolves in the 1972 UEFA Cup. Eden Hazard scored twice at the Baku Olympic Stadium, Olivier Giroud and Pedro Rodríguez also finding the net as Chelsea claimed their second UEFA Europa League title having also triumphed in 2013, their only other appearance in the competition.
Chelsea were unbeaten in European competition last season, claiming the UEFA Europa League with a record of W12 D3 F36 A10. Their last continental defeat came at Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg in March 2018 (0-3).
The London club have scored three goals or more in five of their last eight European matches. Their tally of 36 goals in last season’s UEFA Europa League was one short of the competition record set by Porto in 2010/11.
Chelsea’s record against English clubs in Europe is W7 D7 L4. The defeat of Arsenal ended a three-game run without a victory in such fixtures (D1 L2), since their 3-1 win at Liverpool in 2009.
Chelsea have played three UEFA competition games in Istanbul (W1 D1 L1) but will be making their first appearance at Beşiktaş Park. They took on Beşiktaş themselves in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League group stage, both games ending in 2-0 away wins, but the Istanbul side played that home game in Gelsenkirchen.
A 5-0 first group stage win at Galatasaray in October 1999 remains Chelsea’s joint biggest UEFA Champions League away victory.
Chelsea’s record in five UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L3:
1-4 v Liverpool, 2006/07 UEFA Champions League semi-final
5-6 v Manchester United, 2007/08 UEFA Champions League final
4-3 v Bayern München, 2011/12 UEFA Champions League final
4-5 v Bayern München, 2013 UEFA Super Cup
4-3 v Eintracht Frankfurt, 2018/19 UEFA Europa League semi-final
Links and Trivia
As a Chelsea player, Lampard scored seven goals in 39 matches against Liverpool. His record in matches against the Merseyside club for the Blues was W18 D8 L13.
Salah joined Chelsea from Basel in January 2014 having scored against the English side in both fixtures during that season’s UEFA Champions League group stage, with Basel winning both games. The Egyptian had also found the net in the second leg of Basel’s 2012/13 UEFA Europa League semi-final defeat by the Blues. Salah made only 19 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions, scoring twice, before signing for Fiorentina in January 2015.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson & Ross Barkley, Danny Drinkwater, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tammy Abraham (England)
The 2019 UEFA Champions League was the 64th season of Europe’s premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 27th season since it was renamed from the European Champion Clubs’ Cup to the UEFA Champions League.
2018–19 UEFA Champions League
The final was played at the Estadio Metropolitano in Madrid, Spain, between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool. It was the second all-English final after the 2008 final, which was contested between Manchester United and Chelsea in Moscow. Liverpool defeated Tottenham 2–0 and have earned the right to play against Chelsea, the winners of the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League, in the 2019 UEFA Super Cup; they also qualified for the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar. They automatically qualified for the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League group stage. As Liverpool had already qualified for the group stage by clinching the second place at domestic league, the berth reserved for the English runner-up was given to the champions of the 2018–19 Austrian Bundesliga – the 11th-ranked association according to next season’s access list.
For the first time, the video assistant referee (VAR) system was used in the competition from the round of 16 onward.
Real Madrid were the defending champions, having won each of the last three titles. They were eliminated by Ajax in the round of 16.
Contents 1 Format changes 2 Association team allocation 2.1 Association ranking 2.2 Distribution 2.3 Teams 3 Round and draw dates 4 Preliminary round 5 Qualifying rounds 5.1 First qualifying round 5.2 Second qualifying round 5.3 Third qualifying round 6 Play-off round 7 Group stage 7.1 Group A 7.2 Group B 7.3 Group C 7.4 Group D 7.5 Group E 7.6 Group F 7.7 Group G 7.8 Group H 8 Knockout phase 8.1 Bracket 8.2 Round of 16 8.3 Quarter-finals 8.4 Semi-finals 8.5 Final 9 Statistics 9.1 Top goalscorers 9.2 Top assists 9.3 Squad of the season
On 9 December 2016, UEFA confirmed the reforming plan for the UEFA Champions League for the 2018–2021 cycle, which was announced on 26 August 2016. As per the new regulations, the previous season’s UEFA Europa League winners will qualify automatically for the UEFA Champions League group stage (previously they would qualify for the play-off round, but would be promoted to the group stage only if the Champions League title holder berth was vacated, although this promotion to the group stage had been made in all three seasons since it was established from 2015–16). Meanwhile, the top four teams from the leagues of the four top-ranked national associations in the UEFA country coefficients list will qualify automatically for the group stage as well. Only six teams will qualify for the group stage via the qualification rounds, down from ten in the previous season.
Association Team Allocation
79 teams from 54 of the 55 UEFA member associations participate in the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League (the exception being Liechtenstein, which does not organise a domestic league). The association ranking based on the UEFA country coefficients is used to determine the number of participating teams for each association:
Associations 1–4 each have four teams qualify.
Associations 5–6 each have three teams qualify.
Associations 7–15 each have two teams qualify.
Associations 16–55 (except Liechtenstein) each have one team qualify.
The winners of the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League and 2017–18 UEFA Europa League are each given an additional entry if they do not qualify for the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League through their domestic league.
The winners of the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid, have qualified through their domestic league, meaning the additional entry for the Champions League title holders is not necessary.
The winners of the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League, Atlético Madrid, have qualified through their domestic league, meaning the additional entry for the Europa League title holders is not necessary.
For the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League, the associations are allocated places according to their 2017 UEFA country coefficients, which takes into account their performance in European competitions from 2012–13 to 2016–17.
Apart from the allocation based on the country coefficients, associations may have additional teams participating in the Champions League, as noted below:
(UCL) – Additional berth for the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League winners
(UEL) – Additional berth for the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League winners
Association Ranking for 2018–19 UEFA Champions League
In the default access list, the Champions League title holders qualify for the group stage. However, since Real Madrid already qualified for the group stage via their domestic league (as third place of the 2017–18 La Liga), the following changes to the access list were made:
The champions of association 11 (Czech Republic) entered the group stage instead of the play-off round.
The champions of association 13 (Netherlands) entered the play-off round instead of the third qualifying round.
The champions of association 15 (Austria) entered the third qualifying round instead of the second qualifying round.
The champions of associations 18 and 19 (Denmark and Belarus) entered the second qualifying round instead of the first qualifying round.
In addition, the Europa League title holders qualify for the group stage. However, since Atlético Madrid, the Europa League champions, already qualified for the group stage via their domestic league (as second place of the 2017–18 La Liga), the following changes to the access list were made:
The third-placed team of association 5 (France) entered the group stage instead of the third qualifying round.
The runners-up of association 10 and 11 (Turkey and Czech Republic) entered the third qualifying round instead of the second qualifying round.
Access list for 2018–19 UEFA Champions League
League positions of the previous season shown in parentheses (TH: Champions League title holders; EL: Europa League title holders).
Qualified Teams for 2018–19 UEFA Champions League (by entry round)
Albania (ALB): In March 2018, Skënderbeu were handed a 10-year ban from UEFA club competitions over match fixing. Since they finished as champions of the 2017–18 Albanian Superliga, the runners-up of the league, Kukësi, entered the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League instead of the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League.
France (FRA): Monaco are a club based in Monaco (which is not a UEFA member), but participate in the Champions League through one of the berths for France (any coefficient points they earn count towards France’s total).
Round and Draw Dates
The schedule of the competition is as follows (all draws are held at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, unless stated otherwise).
Schedule for 2018–19 UEFA Champions League
In the preliminary round, teams were divided into seeded and unseeded teams based on their 2018 UEFA club coefficients, and then drawn into one-legged semi-final and final ties. The draw for the preliminary round was held on 12 June 2018. The semi-final round was played on 26 June, and the final round was played on 29 June 2018, both at the Victoria Stadium in Gibraltar. The losers of both semi-final and final rounds entered the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round.
Drita’s win on 26 June 2018 was the first time that a team representing Kosovo had won a game in any UEFA competition.
In the qualifying and play-off rounds, teams are divided into seeded and unseeded teams based on their 2018 UEFA club coefficients, and then drawn into two-legged home-and-away ties.
First Qualifying Round
The draw for the first qualifying round was held on 19 June 2018. The first legs were played on 10 and 11 July, and the second legs were played on 17 and 18 July 2018. The losers entered the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round, except for the losers of the Cork City/Legia Warsaw tie who were randomly drawn to receive a bye to the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.
A. Order of legs reversed after original draw.
Second Qualifying Round
The second qualifying round is split into two separate sections: Champions Path (for league champions) and League Path (for league non-champions). The draw for the second qualifying round was held on 19 June 2018. The first legs were played on 24 and 25 July, and the second legs were played on 31 July and 1 August 2018. The losers from both Champions Path and League Path entered the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.
Third Qualifying Round
The third qualifying round is split into two separate sections: Champions Path (for league champions) and League Path (for league non-champions). The draw for the third qualifying round was held on 23 July 2018. The first legs were played on 7 and 8 August, and the second legs were played on 14 August 2018. The losers from Champions Path enter the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League play-off round, while the losers from League Path enter the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League group stage.
The play-off round was split into two separate sections: Champions Path (for league champions) and League Path (for league non-champions). The draw for the play-off round was held on 6 August 2018. The first legs were played on 21 and 22 August, and the second legs were played on 28 and 29 August. The losers from both Champions Path and League Path entered the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League group stage.
The draw for the group stage was held on 30 August 2018 at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. The 32 teams were drawn into eight groups of four, with the restriction that teams from the same association could not be drawn against each other. For the draw, the teams were seeded into four pots based on the following principles (introduced starting this season):
Pot 1 contained the Champions League and Europa League title holders, and the champions of the top six associations based on their 2017 UEFA country coefficients. If either or both title holders were one of the champions of the top six associations, the champions of the next highest ranked association(s) are also seeded into Pot 1.
Pot 2, 3 and 4 contained the remaining teams, seeded based on their 2018 UEFA club coefficients.
In each group, teams play against each other home-and-away in a round-robin format. The group winners and runners-up advance to the round of 16, while the third-placed teams enter the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League round of 32. The matchdays are 18–19 September, 2–3 October, 23–24 October, 6–7 November, 27–28 November, and 11–12 December 2018.
The youth teams of the clubs that qualify for the group stage also participate in the 2018–19 UEFA Youth League on the same matchdays, where they compete in the UEFA Champions League Path (the youth domestic champions of the top 32 associations compete in a separate Domestic Champions Path until the play-offs).
A total of 15 national associations are represented in the group stage. 1899 Hoffenheim, Red Star Belgrade (1991 European champions) and Young Boys will make their debut appearances in the group stage (although Red Star Belgrade have appeared in the European Cup group stage).
Teams were ranked according to points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss), and if tied on points, the following tiebreaking criteria were applied, in the order given, to determine the rankings (Regulations Articles 17.01):
Points in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
Goal difference in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
Goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
Away goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
If more than two teams were tied, and after applying all head-to-head criteria above, a subset of teams were still tied, all head-to-head criteria above was reapplied exclusively to this subset of teams;
Goal difference in all group matches;
Goals scored in all group matches;
Away goals scored in all group matches;
Wins in all group matches;
Away wins in all group matches;
Disciplinary points (red card = 3 points, yellow card = 1 point, expulsion for two yellow cards in one match = 3 points);
UEFA club coefficient.
In the knockout phase, teams play against each other over two legs on a home-and-away basis, except for the one-match final.
The mechanism of the draws for each round is as follows:
In the draw for the round of 16, the eight group winners are seeded, and the eight group runners-up are unseeded. The seeded teams are drawn against the unseeded teams, with the seeded teams hosting the second leg. Teams from the same group or the same association cannot be drawn against each other.
In the draws for the quarter-finals and semi-finals, there are no seedings, and teams from the same group or the same association can be drawn against each other. As the draws for the quarter-finals and semi-finals are held together before the quarter-finals are played, the identity of the quarter-final winners is not known at the time of the semi-final draw. A draw is also held to determine which semi-final winner is designated as the “home” team for the final (for administrative purposes as it is played at a neutral venue).
Round of 16
The draw for the round of 16 was held on 17 December 2018. The first legs were played on 12, 13, 19 and 20 February, and the second legs were played on 5, 6, 12 and 13 March 2019.
The draw for the quarter-finals was held on 15 March 2019. The first legs were played on 9 and 10 April, and the second legs were played on 16 and 17 April 2019.
A. Order of legs reversed after original draw, in order to avoid a scheduling conflict with the Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur match in the same city.
The final was played on 1 June 2019 at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid. The “home” team (for administrative purposes) was determined by an additional draw held after the quarter-final and semi-final draws.
The final was played on 1 June 2019 at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid. The “home” team (for administrative purposes) was determined by an additional draw held after the quarter-final and semi-final draws.
Statistics exclude qualifying rounds and play-off round.
Squad of the Season
On 2 June 2019, the UEFA technical study group selected the following 20 players as the squad of the tournament.
Samantha Edithso Juara World Cadets Chess Championships 2018 Girls U10
Santiago de Compostela, Spanyol | Jumat, 16 November 2018.
Samantha Editsho menghadapai Alexandra Shvedova, pecatur Rusia yang belum terkalahkan dalam 10 babak pertandingan. Di meja satu, papan catur dibentangkan, bidak dan pion dimainkan.
Tak ada yang memperhitungkan Samantha. Bukan jalan mudah sampai ia di babak menentukan ini, setelah mengalahkan pecatur Amerika Serikat Sophie Velea lebih dahulu dengan pertandingan panjang hingga lima jam, dengan 86 langkah.
Singkat kata, Alexandra sejumput lagi menjadi juara, seolah tak terkalahkan, seakan piala utama itu tinggal sejengkal dipangkuannya, buyar semua. Samantha, bocah perempuan dari Bandung itu berhasil menjungkalkannya. Jadilah Samantha yang meraih juara pertama catur klasik di World Cadets Chess Championship Girls U-10, 2018. Tak ada yang mengira.
Kaki kecil Samantha berlarian di atas panggung. Bendera Merah Putih tersampir di punggungnya, memeluk sayang anak negeri unjuk prestasi. Dan, berkumandanglah lagu Indonesia Raya di auditorium megah itu. Tentang Indonesia negeri yang mulia, tentang seruan warganya untuk bersatu, Indonesia yang merdeka dan berdaulat tiada duanya, hiduplah Indonesia Raya.
Tak banyak yang menyanyikan di tanah seberang itu. Gaungnya pun masih sayup tak sampai pagi ini di negeri yang kubu-kubu masih mengumbar benci, fanatisme buta untuk saling berebut kursi dan kuasa, tak tahu malu, tak tahu adab lagi.
Mereka harus belajar dari Samantha, menyanyikan Indonesia Raya yang tak mudah jalannya, agar merah putih berkibar di podium tertinggi.
Samantha Edithso, banggalah orang tuanya Larry Edith dan So Siau Sian. Banggalah Indonesia, seharusnya ketika ada yang mempersembahkan kumandang Indonesia Raya untuk mereka yang mengaku Indonesia tumpah darahnya.
#Selamat untuk Samantha Edithso, Pak Kristianus Liem dan PB Percasi.
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