(WFI)- Mohammed Salah said before the Champions league game this Tuesday that despite his friendships at his former club, he wanted to beat Roma.
What the Liverpool star had not revealed is that what he really had in mind was… to destroy Roma.
On an unforgettable night for Salah and the Reds at Anfield, the Egyptian forward scored two goals and assisted on two more as Liverpool trashed Roma 5-2 in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal. Almost singlehandedly, Salah practically secured Liverpool’s spot at its first Champions League final in 11 years as the club searches for a sixth European Cup crown.
Salah now has 43 goals in 47 appearances this season and his latest display of excellence occurs just days after picking up the PFA player of the year award. That is the seemingly highest distinction for a football player in England for the votes come from the Premier League’s own footballers. Salah beat Kevin de Bruyne, Harry Kane, Leroy Sane, David Silva and David de Gea in the final tally.
His performance against Roma and throughout the season has elevated the Liverpool player to the heights only reserved until now to Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar or even Antoine Griezman. Salah has been so dominant in his return in England- his first experience with Chelsea was insignificant- there have already been calls for him to be the next winner of the Ballon d’Or – the most prestigious individual accolade in world football.
“What a player,” said Liverpool’s coach Jurgen Klopp after the Roma game.
“If you think he is the best in the world, write it or say it. What I will say is he is in outstandingly, world-class shape. To be the best in the world you have to do it for a longer period, I think. The other two (Messi and Ronaldo) are not bad.” added Klopp.
Before Tuesday’s game, the Egyptian admitted that he remains in contact with a number of his former Roma teammates, while he is still highly thought of at the Stadio Olimpico.
“I played for Roma for two years, I had a great time with the club, with the fans, I fought for the club and now I have to play against them,” the forward told the Liverpool website.
“We text each other, as players, every week — we’re still good friends.
“I’m very excited to go there and I love the fans, they love me, [there are] more emotions. “
Salah’s respect for the Roman club, its players and fans explain why on Tuesday he did not celebrate the two goals he scored against the same club that placed him on the European football map. In both instances, Salah raised his arms as to pleading for forgiveness towards the Italians amid madness of celebration at Anfield.
Next week, the Egyptian is going back to Rome to finish the task he started . Some in the Italian capital will then wonder – yet again- why the “Giallorossi” club sold him to Liverpool for 42 million Euros.
The rest of the world will keep on debating how much is Salah worth now… only 8 months later.
By INSIDER Javier Monne
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