Salah targets place in Liverpool record books

File photo showing Mo Salah celebrates scoring another goal for Liverpool. Photograph: (Getty Images)
Updated 18 April 2018
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Salah targets place in Liverpool record books

LONDON: Mohamed Salah has set his sights on breaking Ian Rush’s Liverpool record for the most goals scored in a single season.
Salah bagged his 40th goal of the campaign when he netted in Liverpool’s win against Bournemouth on Saturday.
Now he is only seven goals short of equalling Liverpool legend Rush’s club record mark of 47, which he set in 1983-84.
With four Premier League matches and a two-legged Champions League semifinal to come, the Egypt star has a good chance of achieving his goal at the end of a dream first season with Liverpool following his move from Chelsea last year.
“There’s a big chance to break the record, to be number one for a club like Liverpool, it’s something huge,” Salah told Premier League Productions.
“I will be very happy if I break it. I’m happy about 40, I want to keep scoring, I want to be number one for the record.
“It’s always good when you see your name with legends of a club like Liverpool, it’s a different feeling and I’m very happy about that.
“But I always try to look at myself and I want more. I have 40 now, I’m telling myself, ‘Why not? You can be number one!’“
Salah is a strong contender to win the Footballer of the Year award, but he insists he is more concerned with enjoying a successful finish to the season with Liverpool, who face Roma in the Champions League semifinals.
“I will try my best to break the record but, as I’ve said before, we play as 11 players, I play for the team,” he said.
“It’s not about individual awards, it’s something for the team. I’m sure if I have a chance to give it to someone else to score, I will — it’s not about me, it’s about us.”


Benevolence, not bluster: How ‘Brand Salah’ bucks the trend

Updated 24 May 2018
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Benevolence, not bluster: How ‘Brand Salah’ bucks the trend

  • Mohamed Salah lines up for Liverpool in the Champions League final against Real Madrid on Saturday
  • Mohamed Salah has been unveiled as DHL’s new brand ambassador for the MENA region

LONDON: On Saturday Mohamed Salah will line up for Liverpool in the Champions League final against Real Madrid.
He will do so not only with the every member of the Red army behind him, but also the entire Arab world.
That is testament to his stratospheric rise — over the past nine months the Egyptian ace has gone from being a very good player, but one deemed as needing to justify his $52 million transfer fee, to a global superstar and cultural phenomenon.
As with any sporting star, with the adulation and attention comes potential pitfalls and, invariably, a new lexicon. So it was not surprising to hear the 25-year-old speak of “his brand” when he was unveiled as DHL’s new brand ambassador for the MENA region on Wednesday. Stars becoming brands is almost cliche now and one that Salah has clearly taken on board — he now has even his own logo.
“We are proud of him. Over the past two years, no has done what he has done. He has proved himself as one of the best and we wanted to deal with no one else, just him,” CEO of DHL in the Middle East and North Africa, Nour Suliman, said. “He is competing on another level and is the star of the Arab world. No one in the Arab world has done what he is doing. We are very proud to have him.”
Those types of corporate events, where a big multinational signs a deal with the latest big, young thing, lend themselves to the odd dollop of hyperbole. But there is little doubting the impact Salah has had on the pitch for Liverpool and Egypt, and off it in becoming a true Arab icon. And his utterance of the word “brand” is where Salah as a walking cliche begins and ends.
Every year in Egypt ahead of Ramadan the best dates are named after the most popular person in the country — the man or woman revered by the nation at that moment. In the past, the staple food of the holy month has tended to be named after political leaders.
This year there was no competition: The most succulent date has been named after Salah. At the DHL press conference he was presented with a packet of dates emblazoned with his face and name.
It said much about the man that he both looked and confessed to being “embarrassed.”
This week the British Museum in London displayed Salah’s green football boots as part of its Modern Egypt exhibition. And in a documentary about the player broadcast in the UK, he was credited with increasing attendances at England’s oldest mosque in Liverpool and improving the image of Islam by Dr. Abdul Hamid, a trustee at the mosque.
So while the signing of big deals hints he is very much the modern-day footballing superstar, everything else off the pitch suggests something else.
Salah is on social media, but does not, like many sports stars, live on it; he knows he is a hero for many, but pays more than mere lip service to his position as a role model; and he embraces attention (of both opposition defenders and fans) rather than seemingly getting annoyed by it if things are not going his way.
“I am not heavy into social media, I am on it and aware of it, but I don’t follow it that closely. It does not influence me,” he said.
“I am aware young people look up to me and I feel great that they do and that I can influence a young footballer to play better or train harder, or do better; that that makes me proud.”
This season Salah has done what few footballers have done before, transcend the game, and he has done so in a way characterized by benevolence rather than bluster.
Against Real Madrid he can again illustrate just what a talent he is — and if he does lead Liverpool to their sixth European Cup triumph, you get the feeling he will not let the adulation go to his head.