Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has revealed how important his father has been to his success as a footballer.
In an interview and accompanying photo shoot for GQ Middle East, Salah said that his father paid a high price for him, and he is very grateful.
In addition, he has given some tips to aspiring young players hoping to follow in his footsteps and become a professional.
I would complain that I didn’t want to travel [the four hours] to training,’ said Salah, remembering the role his father played.
‘But he stood by me and told me that all great players go through this. The price for him was very high, and I’ll never forget the role he played in my career.’
After being awarded his first contract, Salah reveals that he wasn’t going to let the opportunity pass him by.
‘In that period, I decided that I must become a professional footballer,’ he said. ‘It was an opportunity I wasn’t going to waste. That was one of my first big decisions: don’t let this slip from your hands.’
He’s played at El Mokawloon, Basel, Chelsea, Fiorentina, and Roma, but it’s at Liverpool that Mohamed Salah’s career has really taken off, and he spoke about becoming an icon at Anfield.
He’s already scored 42 goals in 53 appearances for Liverpool, and has quickly become a fan favourite.
‘It makes me feel great, and makes me want to work harder and to continue performing,’ he says. ‘Because after that if your standards drop, people will not accept it. It’s a great feeling, but I don’t see it as more pressure.’
As for young players hoping to become a footballer, his main piece of advice is to keep trying.
‘For me, nothing was going to come easily… nothing good ever does. I went through every possible stage a footballer could go through. Moving from an Arab country to Europe, you feel the difference in everything from the standard of living to food, to communication.
‘You don’t know what to do. After that you become organised because you want to reach your goals. If you don’t try then you will always stay at home. I’m not belittling that at all, if that’s what you want, then that’s okay too.’