Over the past couple of decades, young athletes have been slipping the bonds of the Egyptian football league and making their way to Europe, where football is akin to religion. We have always been proud of the athletes who have represented us abroad, especially those who made it to the English Premier League; the most competitive and enticing league in the world of football. From Ahmad Hossam ‘Mido’ to today’s players like Salah and El Neny, these men are living proof that we do not lack the calibre to produce remarkable athletes.
Salah is different though; he is unlike any Egyptian who has penetrated the global football scene.
The 25-year-old started his adult career in football as a player in the Mokawloon team in Egypt back in 2010. Shortly afterwards, he was picked up by Basel in Switzerland and succeeded in winning the league for his team as well as securing the SAFP Golden Player Award; an award that would begin his ever-evolving stardom to this day.
Image from dynamo.kiev.ua
His performance with Basel attracted the attention of Chelsea in England, and they decided to retain him shortly after - although they did not seem to ultimately be aware of the potential beneath this young man’s sweet smile. During his tenure with Chelsea, he was loaned to Italian teams Fiorentina and Roma (the latter eventually buying him from Chelsea). Salah’s performance with Roma further bolstered him to greater recognition upon which he was approached by Liverpool in 2017 and subsequently bought for a then record-breaking sum of 36.9 million British Pounds.
Salah has continued to break records ever since his move to Liverpool; beginning with the club’s scoring record for a debut season, as well as becoming the first player to win the Premier League’s Player of the Month award three times in the same season.
He is now tied with Luis Suarez, Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo for number of goals in the Premier League, with three matches still ahead and a goal-scoring record that is sure to see him surpass the aforementioned players. All of his efforts and his performances seem to be handled with grace and ease. He is not a man who seems to be a party animal; rather he seems like a man driven by passion and an incredible work ethic. Another great quality in Salah is that he is known to be polite to his teammates; during a match between Liverpool and Chelsea, he did not celebrate after scoring a goal against his former team; later citing that he thought it would be disrespectful to Chelsea, in addition to standing in solidarity with the bombing of a mosque in North Sinai.
Image from express.co.uk
His conscientiousness, grace, and determination - paired with his ever increasing skill - culminated in him becoming the first Egyptian ever to win the Professional Footballers’ Association Players’ Player of the Year award on Sunday night. This makes him the seventh Liverpool player to receive the award, preceded by one of the players he is attempting to surpass in terms of goals, Luis Suarez.
With the league still not over and the upcoming World Cup, we continue to root for Mohamed Salah and hope that he finds success in all he does.