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Mohamed Salah: The great African of football

The Liverpool striker amazes the world with his talent and could take the Golden Boot to Africa for the first time

Mohamed Salah: The great African of football

Africa has always been characterized for developing players of great strength, momentum, and intensity, but only in some occasions emerge players who manage to add to those characteristics the talent that is needed to reach the soccer elite. Players like Didier Drogba, Roger Milla, Seydou Keita, Hossam Hassan, Samuel Eto'o, George Weah, Nwankwo Kanu, and Yaya Touré are the African athletes who knew how to combine different qualities and were successful in football.

The latest generation of African footballers has brought several exponents worthy of being referents. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sadio Mané, Eric Bailly, and Victor Moses are some of the new African figures who have stood out. However, there is one superstar who has excelled over the others: Mohamed Salah. The 25-year-old Egyptian striker, who plays for Liverpool FC in England, has managed to raise his level to such a point that he is able to face the best players on the planet.

Salah's best season 

Mohamed Salah excelled in soccer from an early age, which is why he was part of clubs like Arab Contractors of Egypt and FC Basel of Switzerland between 2009 and 2013. Of this last club, Salah jumped to England's Chelsea in 2014, but there he did not have a great performance, being transferred to the Fiorentina of Italy that same year. There, the footballer had an outstanding participation, so in 2015 he went to play to AS Roma. It was in this club where Salah began to expose his maximum talent to the whole world.

In June 2017, Salah was transferred to England's Liverpool FC, kicking off the best season of the African player so far. In the Premier League, the Egyptian striker is positioned as the top scorer with 29 goals in 31 games played. Salah's tally in the UEFA Champions League this season is equally overwhelming, as he has scored seven goals in eight games.

The Egyptian is leading such a successful season that he is beating players like Harry Kane, Sergio Agüero, Raheem Sterling, and Romelu Lukaku in the Premier League, and players such as Lionel Messi, Neymar, Lewandowski, Gonzalo Higuain, and Mbappé in UEFA Champions League. The 2017-2018 season is undoubtedly the best in Salah's career so far, as it has led him to be considered one of the best players in the world today.

Historical race for the Golden Boot

The historic award for the top scorer in the European top-flight leagues is going through an unprecedented moment. The Golden Boot has been awarded since the 1968-1969 season and has been won by great players such as the Portuguese Eusébio, the German Gerd Müller, the Welshman Ian Rush, the Dutchman Marco van Basten, the Mexican Hugo Sánchez, the Brazilian Ronaldo, the Frenchman Thierry Henry, the Italian Francesco Totti, the Uruguayan Forlan, the Argentine Lionel Messi, the Uruguayan Luís Suárez, and the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, among others.

The trophy has the particularity that, since its creation and up to the present, only Europeans and Americans have won it, so this season can be a real milestone if Mohamed Salah wins the Golden Boot, because it would be the first time an African player becomes the victor.

The system is based on points per goal, giving two points to the strikers who score goals in the leagues of Spain, England, Italy, France, and Germany, giving 1.5 points in the leagues of Portugal, Holland, and Croatia among others, and giving 1 point in leagues of countries like Ireland, Sweden, and Denmark, among others.

The Egyptian striker is first in the standings with 29 goals in the English Premier League so far, which means 58 points. In the second position there is a triple tie between the Argentine Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona of the Spanish league, Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich of the league of Germany, and Ciro Immobile of Lazio of the Italian league, all with 52 points having scored 26 goals each. The closest pursuers are Jonas Gonçalves, Edinson Cavani, Harry Kane, Mauro Icardi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Luís Suárez.

Mohamed Salah is being a worthy representative of all that Africa can offer to football. The striker has a dream season, as he is first in the race for the Golden Boot and is playing in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals with Liverpool, but also Salah will participate in the 2018 World Cup Russia with his selection of Egypt. Salah can make history at the end of the season if he continues with his implacable goal-scoring rhythm. If he obtains the Golden Boot, the player will win in the nickname of 'The Pharaoh'.

 

LatinAmerican Post | Javier Aldana
Translated from "Mohamed Salah: El último gran africano del fútbol"

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