Mohamed Salah has been impeccably impressive in any way one can conjure. His marvellous exploits at Liverpool Football Club have seen him being the darling at the club and he has landed awards. To add to that, he helped his country Egypt progress to the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1990.
He scores brilliant goals, he gives slick passes and assists, he is aggressive at goal, and he is there when needed. That’s Mo Salah. Once branded a Premier League failure due to his fruitless spell at Chelsea, he has returned to Liverpool with more unquenchable zest, and a burning desire to win. He is now the fastest Liverpool player to reach 20 goals, having achieved that feat in only 25 games. That’s just two games quicker than Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge.
The 25 year-old is a marvel, not only for the enthusiastic Liverpool Football Club followers in England, but also for his beloved country, Egypt. In his home country, he is hailed as a hero, deservedly. He has exhibited persistent grit, determination and always dazzles on the pitch. It is not only the two goals he scored, including a late penalty in a match against Congo in Alexandria last year which helped his country qualify for the World Cup since 1990 that make him endearing to the football fanatics in Egypt. He had secured the unwavering love before that. He is an icon, a source of national pride.
He is a very modest figure, and very much adored. A school and a street in the city of Basyoun have been named after him in his honour. He also continues to retain strong links with the town of Nagrig in Gharbia in the north of the country. He is a regular benefactor and paid for a community gym as well as an all-weather pitch where future stars can hone their skills.
His impact was even recognized by Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. In January, he was received by the president and Minister for Youth and Sports Khaled Abdel Aziz in order to praise him for his stellar efforts. They were grateful for his contribution of 5m Egyptian pounds to the Tahiya Masr ('Long Live Egypt') fund to strengthen the economy.
A man of compassion, he donated 30,000 euros to the Association of Veteran Egyptian Players. When offered a luxury villa by a businessman as a reward for his winning goal against Congo in the World Cup qualifier, he rejected the offer and asked for the money to be donated to his home town. Talk of a national icon being very humble and hard-working.
Despite his prolific form and iconic standing, he is a “down to earth,” low-profile superstar. Egyptian football expert Marwan Saeed shared his sentiments on Mo Salah with BBC Sport. "He is a very down to earth, quiet footballer and person. He barely interacts with the media in Egypt or abroad," Marwan Saeed said.
"He uses social media to a moderate level. He doesn't like to talk much and that is a good thing as we see many stars saying things they shouldn't on TV or posting things they shouldn't.
"Mo got married at a young age, is now blessed with a baby girl and keeps away from the spotlight.
"We have streets and institutions named after him here after his heroics, especially after doing the unthinkable and taking 'The Pharaohs' back to the World Cup for the first time since 1990. Egypt is blessed with the gift that is Mohamed Salah and he is a gift that keeps on giving. Long may that continue."
In football, and in any field of sport, players tend to get carried away by the euphoria of their high profile status. But with Mo Salah, people are confident this will not affect him. Murat Yakin, the man who coached him after he left Egypt in 2012 to pursue his dream in Europe, speaks highly of the player. "Mo is very humble and modest. He is really down to earth and also sympathetic off the pitch. But on the pitch he is a leader, smart and aggressive in a good way".
His rise has been spectacular, and when Phillipe Coutinho left for Barcelona, he has managed to fill in the void left by him. As for now, the general consensus is that Salah must stave off interest from other clubs and work hard on his outstanding, excellent form at Anfield. His asking price is going to be high, certainly, considering the way he scores goals. When it comes to entertaining and exhilarating football, Mo Salah has provided that.