Mohamed Salah has become a staple name in the English Premier League. His goal-scoring skills have attracted a lot of attention, especially during this 2017/2018 season. He was just recognized as PFA Premier League Player of the Year and awarded a spot on PFA’s Team of the Year. He’s on track to break Ronaldo’s record of scoring the most goals in a 38 game season, and he’s giving Harry Kane a run for his money. The 25-year-old joined the league in 2014, and since then his play has grown exponentially. Salah is the player you’re going to be talking about for a long time. Here are five facts that every fan should know about him.
He’s a Friendly Dude
Unlike Messi’s Argentinean wedding where security was in full-force, Salah welcomed all. He married his wife Magi in 2013, and at the wedding, he sent an open invitation to pretty much everyone, including his entire village. Thousands of people were there to celebrate with the two. They also have a four-year-old daughter, Makka Mohamed, who makes many appearances on Salah’s Instagram.
Salah has strong ties to the Muslim faith. After every goal, he performs the sujood where he bows his head to the turf. His daughter is actually named after Islam’s holiest city, Mecca. He and his wife changed the spelling of their daughter’s name due to the possibility of it being associated with gambling. There’s a worldwide casino known as “Mecca Bingo.” Since gambling is not allowed in Islam, they didn’t want their daughter’s name to be reflective of that.
In Egypt, male citizens between ages 18 and 30 have to engage in mandatory military service. When he was playing for Chelsea in July 2014, Salah’s soccer career nearly came to a halt because of this. He thought he was on the list for education because males involved in education are exempt from the requirement. As it turns out, he actually wasn’t. Fortunately, Ahmed Hassan, Egypt’s national team head coach stepped in and absolved Salah of his military duties.
The Controversial Fist Bump
As a newbie on Chelsea, Salah refused to shake hands with Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv players. Instead, he gave them a fist bump. Some people became very upset after the incident, stating that Salah was taking an anti-Israel stance and Chelsea was, therefore, supporting this. Salah stood his ground though and announced he wouldn’t shake the players’ hands out of protest, due to Israel’s crimes against Palestinians.
The Egyptian King
Liverpool fans are in love with Salah. So much so that they write songs and chants about him where he’s been dubbed the “Egyptian King.” One particular song has fans joking that if the forward scores more goals, they’ll also convert to Muslim. It goes, “If he’s good enough for you, he’s good enough for me. If he scores another few, then I’ll be Muslim too. If he’s good enough for you, he’s good enough for me, then sitting in a mosque is where I want to be.”