Tag Archives: Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Salah with Egypt at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

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.

Club Career

El Mokawloon

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.

Basel

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.

Salah playing for Basel away at Zenit St Petersburg in the UEFA Europa League in March 2013

Chelsea

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.

Salah playing for Chelsea away at Tottenham Hotspur on 1 January 2015

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.

Salah playing for Fiorentina against Dynamo Kiev in 2015

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.

Roma

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.

Liverpool

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.

Salah playing for Liverpool in 2017. His performances in the 2017–18 season saw him receive numerous accolades, including PFA Players’ Player of the Year and the Football Writers’ Player of the Year.

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.

Salah during a warm-up ahead of a pre-season match on 7 August 2018.

“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.

Salah at the Champions League trophy parade on the streets of Liverpool the day after the final: 2 June 2019

2019–20 season

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.

International Career

Youth

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.

Senior

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.

Salah with Egypt at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

Style of Play

Analysis

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.

Salah is best known for his speed, dribbling ability and finishing

Reception

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.

Personal Life

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.

Outside Football

Media

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 during a press conference at the 2017 CAF Awards.

Sponsors

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).

Charity

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.

Controversy

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.

Career Statistics

Club

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

International

As of match played 6 July 2019

Appearances and goals by national team and year

International Goals

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

Honours

Basel

  • Swiss Super League: 2012–13, 2013–14

Liverpool

  • UEFA Champions League: 2018–19;[280] runner-up: 2017–18
  • UEFA Super Cup: 2019

Egypt U20

  • African U-20 Championship third place: 2011

Egypt

  • Africa Cup of Nations runner-up: 2017

Individual

  • 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,[294] 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

Records

England

  • 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

Europe

  • Most goals by an African player in a UEFA Champions League season: 11 goals in 2017–18

Liverpool

  • 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

  • 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

Italy

  • Highest-scoring Egyptian in Serie A history: 35 goals in 81 games

Performances

  • 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

Mohamed Salah is one of the most prolific forwards in European football and a Champions League winner with Liverpool.

The Egyptian has been an unstoppable scorer since joining the Reds from AS Roma in the summer of 2017, following up an historic 44-goal debut season with another 27 strikes in his second campaign at Anfield.

That latter tally included one in the Champions League final victory over Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid in June 2019, Salah smashing home a second-minute penalty en route to a 2-0 win for Jürgen Klopp’s side.

Success at Estadio Metropolitano provided fitting redemption for the No.11, who was forced off with injury when Liverpool lost the previous year’s showpiece against Real Madrid.

A talisman for his country, Salah quickly became a fan favourite at Anfield and formed part of a fearsome – and now European Cup-winning – attacking trio with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

Salah won the Premier League Golden Boot in 2017-18 with 32 goals – a new record for a 38-game campaign – and retained the accolade the following season alongside teammate Mane and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

He was also named PFA Players’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year at the end of his first year with the Reds and carried his stellar form into a memorable 2018-19 that concluded with a first piece of silverware of his Liverpool career.

The wide player, who has also been used in a more central position by Klopp on occasion, is capable of scoring a variety of goals, from spectacular long-range efforts to poacher’s finishes, as well as creating them too.

Salah committed his long-term future to the club when he signed a new contract in the summer of 2018.