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African Star player profile – Mohamed Salah

Salah

SuperSport viewers on DStv saw Egyptian star Mohamed Salah light up the Premier League with his two goal burst in Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Arsenal on Saturday evening.

 

The 27-year-old Pharaohs forward continues to be one of Africa’s top performers in a major European league, and will be looking to lead the Reds to their first domestic league championship since 1990.

 

Salah has scored an incredible 57 Premier League goals from just 77 appearance since his 2017 move to Anfield from Roma, and he is amongst the bookies’ favourites to end the 2019/20 season as the ‘Golden Boot’ winner – he claimed the prize outright in 17/18 and shared it with fellow Africans Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in 18/19.

 

The Nagrig-born player started out his senior career at Egyptian club El Mokawloon, but it wasn’t long until his talent came to the attention of European scouts and Swiss side FC Basel moved for him in 2012.

 

He impressed at St Jakob Park, notably winning back-to-back Swiss Super League titles, and Chelsea came calling in early 2014. However, Salah (then just 21) struggled to adapt to life at Stamford Bridge and a year on was sent out on loan to Italian side Fiorentina.

 

This proved to the rebirth of the North African speedster, who took a liking to Italian football and proved deadly, first for the Florence team and then in the capital city with Roma (first on loan from Chelsea, and then on a permanent transfer).

 

A tally of 34 goals in 83 appearances for the Giallorossi was enough to convince Liverpool to pay €42m to sign Salah – at the time both a club record and the highest fee paid for an African player. And what a purchase the Egyptian has proven to be, leading the Reds’ charge as they have become one of the best teams in Europe – as proven by last season’s triumph in the UEFA Champions League.

 

On the national team front, Salah debuted for the Pharaohs in 2011, but it was only in the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup where he really established himself as their talisman, putting in some sensational performances to help Egypt return to the global stage for the first time since 1990.

 

However, major international tournaments have not been too kind to the forward thus far: at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Egypt were runners-up to Cameroon, last year’s World Cup ended in a first-round exit (with Salah’s participation curtailed due to a shoulder injury) and the recent 2019 AFCON on home soil concluded in heartbreak in the last 16 with a surprise loss to South Africa.

 

SuperSport viewers can next see Salah in action on the evening of Saturday 31 August when Liverpool head to Turf Moor for a clash against Burnley. Jurgen Klopps’s Reds will be expected to rack up a fourth successive win and maintain their perfect star to the current campaign. Kick-off is at 18:30 CAT.

 

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Mohamed Salah

 

Born: 15 June 1992 in Nagrig, Basyoun, Egypt

Position: Forward

Club: Liverpool (England)

Club career:

Youth level

2004-2005 – Ittihad Basyoun

2005-2006 – Othmason Tanta

2006-2010 – El Mokawloon

Senior level

2010-2012 – El Mokawloon (44 appearances / 12 goals)

2012-2014 – FC Basel (Switzerland) (79 / 20)

2014-2016 – Chelsea (England) (19 / 2)

2015 – Fiorentina (Italy, loan) (26 / 9)

2015-2017 – Roma (Italy, loan then permanent) (83 / 34)

2017-present – Liverpool (England) (109 / 74)

National team:

Debut – 3 September 2011, Sierra Leone 2-1 Egypt

Caps / goals: 67 / 41

Major tournaments: 2012 Olympic Games, 2017 & 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, 2018 World Cup

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende