Mo Salah: 11 facts to know about the Liverpool FC and Egypt goal machine ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
The final squads are yet to be confirmed for the competition in Japan, but it’s likely that Egypt will request his presence from his current club – Liverpool FC.
Salah could earn himself an Olympic gold medal in 2021 though, if he is included as a one of the overage players in Egypt’s squad.
Here are the top 11 things to know about Liverpool FC’s number 11, Mohamed Salah…
1. Mo Salah: The Egyptian King
Mo Salah is the current captain of his international team - Egypt.
He is quite simply regarded as the best footballer the country has ever showcased. His international record is exceptional with 43 goals in his first 46 appearances for the African nation.
2. What trophies has Mo Salah won with Liverpool FC?
Along with Liverpool teammates Sadio Mane and Roberto Firminho, Salah made up one the most feared front three line ups in world football. Their form led to a golden patch for the trophy-starved club. Liverpool finally won the Premier League in 2020 after waiting 30 years to lift their domestic title. Salah and co reached the Champions League final on successive seasons too – winning the trophy in 2019. Additionally, Liverpool and Salah won the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2019.
Liverpool as a team have struggled for decent form and won’t win any trophies either domestically or in Europe in the 2020/21 season. Salah’s form has not dipped, scoring 20 goals in his first 32 appearances of the 2020/21 season.
3. What trophies has Mo Salah won with the Egypt national side?
Mo Salah is yet to win a trophy playing for Egypt. In 2017, the Pharaohs came close in the Africa Cup of Nations when they reached the final. But the team were beaten 2-1 in the final by Cameroon.
4. What is Mo Salah's Olympic history?
During the London 2012 Olympic men’s football tournament, Mo Salah became one of the biggest talking points in the group stages by scoring three goals in three games.
Egypt were knocked out by Argentina in the round of 16. Salah still scored a penalty.
It's also worth mentioning that his club teammate, Sadio Mane, was another of the standout players at the Olympic tournament in 2012 for Senegal.
Salah didn't play at Rio 2016, as Egypt's Under-23 team failed to qualify for the Olympic Games in Brazil.
5. Will Mo Salah play at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in 2021?
Egypt have qualified to be part of the men's football tournament at the Tokyo 2020 Games, which start in July 2021. They were drawn in Group C, alongside Spain, Argentina, and Australia.
The African nation are keen for Salah to be one of the three “over-aged” players who join their team in the competition, which is mostly for players under the age of 23.
The squads are usually announced in the weeks before the event begins, following the conclusion of seasons in the top European leagues.
6. Mo Salah: A popular player in the UK
Apart from his incredible on the field exploits, Mo Salah is well liked in the city Liverpool for his calm demeanour and smile.
He delighted some local schoolkids by playing a prank on them. He burst through a paper wall whilst the youngsters were pretending to commentate on some of Salah’s goals.
Their reactions are priceless.
7. Mohamed Salah: Big on social media
The Egyptian star has a huge following on social media (42m on Instagram, 14m on Twitter), where he uses his platforms to push for education opportunities for all as part of his work with the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and give a glimpse of his life away from the limelight.
8. Mo Salah: Family man
Mo Salah is married to Magi Sadeq. The couple have two daughters, Makka (born 2014, named after the holiest city in the Islamic faith, Mecca) and Kayan (born 2020).
As a practicing Muslim, he generally has a private personal life, but while the footballer was celebrating one of his Golden Boot awards in May 2019, Makka was scoring a goal on the Anfield pitch to the delight of the Merseyside club's fans.
9. Mo Salah recognised for work in the community
Mo Salah is also known for his charity work and has been recognised by the Laureus Awards. He won the Sporting Inspiration Award in 2021 for his support in fighting social injustice in his home country of Egypt.
10. Mo Salah's massive chant hit on the terraces
Liverpool fans are famous for making lots of noise. Some have even attributed their lack of recent form to the absence of fans in the stadium. The most famous section of their Anfield stadium, The Kop, used to sing the following song to the tune of James’s 90s indie anthem ‘Sit Down’ about the so-called 'Egyptian King'.
Hopefully, they will be back in full voice soon.
11. What is Mo Salah's shirt number for Liverpool FC?
You could be thinking, ‘Why 11 facts?’. Well, hold that thought. Salah wears the number 11 on his shirt for Liverpool. The squad number has previously been worn by club legend Jamie Redknapp, and cult fan favourite Maxi Rodriguez.
Salah's position as a goal scoring forward would usually be associated with the number 9 or 10 shirt, but Salah wore the number 11 with his previous club Roma, and on arriving at Liverpool, Roberto Firmino let him continue that tradition by offering to switch shirts.
For his country, Salah often wears the number 10 shirt. Which number would we see the 'Egyptian King' wearing if he lines up at the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021?