Did you Know?
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. 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.
Things to Know:
A quick, mobile, hard-working and tactical player, with good technique and an eye for goal, Salah is predominantly known for his speed, 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; 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 central positions, with the forward telling ESPN, “I play closer to the goal than any club before.” 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 went on to say that Salah has “similar qualities” with “talented players” that he had worked with, such as Gareth Bale and Arjen Robben. His technical skills, pace, position and direct playing style led him to be nicknamed the “Egyptian Messi”, in the Italian media. Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldo stated, “Salah is an incredible player with a tremendous quality. He looks like Messi.”
Did you Know?
Mohamed Salah married Maggi in 2013. Their daughter, Makka, born in 2014 is named in honor of the Islamic holy city. Salah is Muslim and often celebrates goals by performing the sujood. 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. While Salah is devout to a degree that many other well-known Muslims sports figures are not (his wife wears a veil, for example), his charm and apolitical persona have made him a popular figure in the UK. Salah is nicknamed “The Pharaoh” by the press and his fans. More recently, 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.
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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 made his debut on 22 August, as the new season began with a 1–1 draw at Hellas Verona. On 11 September 2015, 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 2015, 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 2015, Salah returned to Artemio Franchi stadium, 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. 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. On 3 August 2016, Roma made the deal permanent. He scored a hat-trick at the Stadio Olimpico on 6 November as Roma won 3–0 against Bologna.