‘The Egyptian Messi’,’the Pharaoh’ and ‘the Cairo Cristiano’, these are some of the nicknames that Mohammad Salah has been bestowed upon in the last few years by his admirers from around the globe.
Few players in the world football can claim to be as ridiculously talented as the Liverpool winger at the moment. And now that yet another, and perhaps the most historic EPL season has come to an end, we take a look at the incredible journey of the Kopite Messiah.
Sure, today Salah is considered to be at the top rung of footballing acumen but that was not always the case. From Basel to Chelsea to Roma he wandered before the Egyptian King finally found solace at Anfield.
From Chelsea outcast to Liverpool superstar
Mohammad Salah first came to the attention of EPL clubs during Chelsea vs Basel group stage fixture in the 2013 Champions League. Impressed by the exploits of the lanky winger, on 23 January 2014, Chelsea announced that a deal had been agreed with Basel to bring Salah to London for a fee reported to be in the region of £11 million.
However things quickly turned sour at the Stamford Bridge and in spite of the Blues getting their hands on the PL , Salah was rarely in the scheme of things for Mourinho, the then Chelsea manager.
After finding his opportunities limited at Chelsea, moves to Fiorentina, and Roma followed before Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool gave the Egyptian winger the opportunity to prove himself in England once again.
And thus began the fairy tale campaign of 2017-18 for the Egyptian in which records fell like a deck of cards. He scored 44 goals across all competitions earning the golden boot and a place among the soccer elites in the process.
So what changed for the charismatic winger?
The pride of Arab, Africa and Egypt ..Mohamed Salah, stands beside Premier league cup, as the first Egyptian to make this achievement. 🇪🇬🏆👏#EgyptToday #Salah #MoSalah #MohamedSalah #LFCchampions #EgyptianKing #liverpool #LFC | #صلاح #محمد_صلاح pic.twitter.com/qg3CKT0ltC
— Egypt Today Magazine (@EgyptTodayMag) July 22, 2020
A peek at Salah’s transformation-
Sure,the Liverpool man has much better guidance in Klopp and an inherent eye for the goal. But it’s not just his on-pitch performances that have undergone a transformation.
The lanky winger of Chelsea days is a distant memory now as Mohd Salah recognized the importance of fitness and strength in modern football. His well-chiseled abs and an incredible fitness routine are a testament to not just his hard work but also his drive to succeed at the highest stage of all.
His social media handles are full of videos of his gym sessions and the results are there for everyone to see.
Talking about his diet, Salah told CNN, “Nutrition is so important, it’s part of the game. It has helped with my recovery, allowed me to sleep better, and helped my body adapt quickly.
“My nutritionist says that because I don’t have any fat on my body, I can eat what I want. I also don’t drink so it’s fine.”
The road ahead-
The Kopite ‘Messi’ah, as his fans fondly call him, would look to continue with his imperious form in the next EPL season, come September. As of now , Mohd Salah is enjoying one of the few moments of peace and bliss after being a vital cog of the Liverpool squad that brought the PL trophy back to Anfield after a 30-year wait.
His journey, his failures, and his transformation bring to the fore the fact that if you have enough talent and you commit yourself to having a better tomorrow, then success is always just around the corner.