Mohamed Salah: Carrying The Dream Of An Entire Nation
Salah is now the unofficial icon of Egypt to the world.
Recently, Liverpool footballer Dejan Lovren said that his fellow team-mate, Mohamed Salah is currently the best player in the world, ahead of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
There is little doubt that Salah, a forward for Premier League club Liverpool, has quickly established himself amongst the world’s best, scoring 44 goals in all competitions and claiming the Premier League's Golden Boot with 32 goals in 36 league games, thus creating a new Premier League record. He almost single-handedly took Liverpool all the way to this year’s Champions League title but, a shoulder injury in the final against Real Madrid along with a series of blunders by Liverpool’s goalkeeper Loris Karius cost Liverpool and allowed Madrid to clinch their third successive title.
Irrespective, Salah has had a spectacular first season with the Reds and if he continues to perform in the same fashion, he might as well give the giants of the game a run for their money.
He has proved to his critics his goal-scoring abilities and numerous awards have been awarded to him for the same. These include the Premier League's Player of the Season award, PFA Players' Player of the Year prize, PFA Fans' Player of the Year and the Football Writers' Player of the Year. He was also named in the 2017–18 PFA Team of the Year, while he has also been mentioned as a future Ballon d'Or candidate.
His performance for Liverpool has been nothing less than phenomenal. He played a crucial role in getting his club over the line in many matches. In the quarterfinal of the Champions League, against none other than the fellow English club, Manchester City, he scored at a crucial time when it looked as if Man City might overturn the first leg deficit. Similarly, in the Champions League semi-final against his former club, Roma, Salah was at his absolute best, netting 2 goals while assisting 2 others to help his side clinch a place in the final for the first time since 2006-07
He also helped the National team of Egypt to qualify for the World Cup, the country’s first in 30 years. He was conferred with the award of Africa’s top footballer for his performances both for the club and his country.
While his statistics for his current club, Liverpool are exceptional, a similar statement cannot be made for his performances as an Egypt International. As of now, for Egypt, he has managed to score a total of 33 goals in 57 games. Though these numbers look good, they aren’t as attractive as the ones he has recorded for the club. What he has done with Liverpool is really unimaginable, but, to expect the same from him when he gets on the field wearing his nation’s jersey at the World Cup, would definitely be not the right thing to do.
Though for his millions of fans, he is the one amongst the best and is taken in the same breath as Ronaldo and Messi. In an interview with CNN, Ali Ahmed stated, “All over the world, people are looking at Egypt in a new light because of Mohamed Salah. Everyone knows that Salah is a very good player and they think he's now a landmark for Egypt like the Pyramids or the Sphinx." Even the Liverpool supporters and the British media have shown their admiration to him by giving him the nickname “The Egyptian King.”
He has now become the official icon of Egypt to the world. He is the factor why so many children in Egypt have started playing and enjoying the game. Salah has given them a lot of motivation and a chance to dream big.
In his own country, he is also involved in an anti-drug and anti-smoking campaign. He has also funded a lot of schools and hospitals in his village. Thus, not only is he creating magic on the field, but Salah is doing wonders off the field too.
According to his former coach, Hamdi Noor (as told to the CNN), “He is not a Pharaoh. He's an angel -- The Angel of the Nile. I like to call him that."
Salah has proven himself as a force to reckon with at the global level and soon, his name could be taken alongside the present greats of the game like Messi and Ronaldo. He has shown the world what he is capable of, what he can achieve. Salah has achieved at Liverpool in his first season what many would have never even imagined. But, if he is to remain there amongst the best and be remembered forever, he will have to meet the hopes of his own nation, when he gets to the ground all the way at the World Cup.