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Turned the pyramid: the new chapter in the legacy of Mohamed Salah - voila! sport


The historic 7-0 performance over Manchester United returned Mohamed Salah to the center stage after a long absence, and also resurfaced the political question marks surrounding him

Summary: Liverpool - Manchester United 0:7 (Sport1)

When Mohamed Salah scored Liverpool's sixth goal against Manchester United in the giant game at Anfield last Sunday, something went down in the annals of the Reds, of English football, as far as Africa and the Middle East.

That goal equaled the biggest margin Liverpool had ever beaten United before Sunday (7-1, back in 1895, when United were still called Newton Heath), but what's more, it was Salah's 129th league goal for Liverpool , one more than Robbie Fowler, making him the English luxury club's top scorer since the English league became the 'Premier League' in 1992. If that wasn't enough, compared to Fowler, Salah did it in far fewer games (205 compared to Fowler's 266) .

The game itself also ended with a record 0:7 result for Liverpool - the most crushing loss in this bitter rivalry ever - and finally established Salah as the greatest African and Arab to play in England, and one of the greatest players in the history of the league.

But for Salah himself, this record of goals, symbolized something far beyond.

Because despite the fact that his image and name were plastered everywhere this week, like Liverpool this season, Salah has not been at his peak for some time, and something in the prestigious legacy he built for himself in recent years seems to have faded, and blurred a bit.

Until Sunday came, and offered a different development to the story of Mohamed Salah's career, and perhaps also to how we will all remember and experience him, as football lovers, and perhaps, as Israelis.

After the second goal it seemed that he was once again Salah of the first seasons in Liverpool.

In the right place and at the right time, takes off his shirt, and celebrates with the crowd when all the players come to him.

Beyond the fact that at that moment he rose to seventh place in Liverpool's all-time scorers' table in all formats, and that by a single number of goals only club legends such as Roger Hunt and Ian Rush will be ahead of him - few remember that when the Egyptian striker only signed on Merseyside in 2017, there were quite a few question marks surrounding him , and around his ability to become a significant player in the ranks of the Mighty Reds.

mentioned oblivion.

Salah against United (Photo: Reuters)

Salah is not an ordinary footballer.

The boy who grew up in a small village on the slopes of the Nile Delta, traveled by bus for hours back and forth to the training complex, and somehow, partly thanks to the Port Said disaster that stopped football in Egypt for two years, he managed to move abroad early. Along the way he also passed through Bloomfield, shone, failed, worked hard , failed again, worked even harder, shone again, until he got to Liverpool. Then there were doubters, and there were those who claimed that the 40 million dollars paid for him at the time was too expensive, but minutes into his debut to prove everyone wrong.

From there, it's almost six years since Salah smashed team and personal records in Liverpool and England, won awards, and broke new ground.

A reign of goals, winning the Champions League and becoming the club's outstanding scorer at the factory, the English Championship after 30 years, the African who scored the most in England, and of course also the best Arab player who walked in Europe, probably ever.

If that's not enough, every goal he scored also led to far-reaching changes off the field as well: in a Princeton study it was shown that his success in the Premier League led to a decrease in hate crimes against Muslims in Britain between 2017 and 2019, and that the effect of Salah's success goes far beyond football, changing "Eastern" relations and "the West".

And yet, despite everything he has achieved so far, the last year was one of the hardest in his life, on a professional level.

That's why what happened on Sunday is so critical.

Because these goals saved his legacy, the story, and what we will remember from his amazing career.


The answer to that, lies at home.

in Egypt, and in the Arab world.

More in Walla!

Salah broke every possible record, Klopp went out of his way: "Amazing. Spectacular!"

To the full article

The seven that upset England

Watch the summary of Liverpool's historic 0:7 over Manchester United

Salah broke every possible record, Klopp went out of his way: "Spectacular!"

To fall from the seventh sky: the historic 0:7 is a sign of things to come?

A difficult year for him.

Salah in Egypt's uniform (Photo: Reuters)

It's no secret that 2022 was difficult for Salah.

The failure with the Egyptian national team in the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, with a final loss on penalties to Senegal and his Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane, which continued with another failure in the World Cup qualifying playoffs, again on penalties, again against Mane and Senegal, put the star in a tizzy, in bad shape, turned his relationship with Mane to the very sensitive, and he himself became the target of almost endless arrows of criticism in Egypt.

Since carrying the team on his back to the 2018 World Cup, Salah is Egypt's hope.

He is the one who put it on the international map and the one who allowed the nation of 100 million to believe that anything is possible.

The World Cup in Russia, even though Salah played injured and scored twice, ended in disappointment for the Egyptians, who lost all the games.

In 2019, at the home African Cup, it ended in a surprising elimination in the round of 16 against South Africa, when on the way an affair exploded that included the dismissal of Salah's best friend, Omar Warda, after he sent disturbing messages to women on Instagram.

There the first rift opened between Salah and the Egyptian people.

You have to understand, until then Salah was a huge consensus in Egypt.

In Cairo there is hardly a moment that his face or name does not appear in the background.

Whether it's in an advertisement, on a billboard, in one or another graffiti, children's masks, or simply in national team or Liverpool shirts with his name on the back.

Besides Salah, there is another one who receives a similar honor in Egypt - Mohamed Abutrika, the former star of Al Ahly and the national team, who brought Egypt three African Cups, and is mainly considered a devout Muslim, pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli.

Since he was young, Salah has been compared to Trika.

But unlike the former player, Salah never had a strong political opinion.

will be reversed.

For years now, every Christmas he has been uploading photos of his family celebrating the holiday under a fir tree, which has caused discussions, insults and criticism in Egypt and the Arab world: "Is he really Arab?".

And it's not just about religion.

Even on the political issue, he is criticized for not being firm enough.

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A completely different symbol.

Abu Trika (Photo: Reuters)

In Israel, Salah is considered "hostile" and "an enemy of Israel" because of statements attributed to him regarding the "occupied territories in Palestine" (which he and his people deny to this day that they were said), and because he did not shake hands with Maccabi Tel Aviv players when he played with Basel in the Champions League qualifiers in 2013, Instead, he only made a strange fist gesture. Um, in Egypt they remember things from a slightly different angle.

He was put under very heavy pressure from the Egyptian public and the Muslim Brotherhood not to come to the game, and if he did come, then not to shake hands. But Salah did come, he did make a gesture, he did play , and even scored. What in the eyes of the Israelis was perceived as defiance, in Egypt was considered almost treason, and the player found himself in the eye of the storm that almost cost him when he moved to Chelsea later, when Roman Abramovich, the Jewish-Russian owner of the London club at the time, demanded clarification on his statements.

Since then, Salah has been trying to stay away from politics like fire, so much so that in May 2021, during Operation Wall Guard, when approximately every second Arab and Muslim footballer posted a post in solidarity with the Palestinians, with some of them even wrapping themselves in and waving the Palestinian flag after games - such as Riyad Mahrez, Paul Pogba and more - Salah He reacted very late, choosing to upload a photo from Al Aqsa Mosque without specifically mentioning Israel or the Palestinians, and called for an end to the "killing of the innocent", which drew very sharp criticism from his closest home crowd.

The lack of success with the national team and the fact that he does not emphasize his political positions clearly, hurt Salah's popularity.

And the fact that he and Egypt missed the opportunity to play in the first World Cup in the Arab world only made the situation worse.

Therefore, his 128th and 129th goals in the Premier League, and more in such a historic and tremendous victory of Liverpool over Manchester United, were so important to him.

They were the reminder, the confirmation, the hug, the gushepanka, the "stampa", who is, still, the greatest African to play in England, the greatest Arab in the history of the game, and one of the greatest players in the history of Liverpool Football Club, if not the greatest of the last generation.

And when that's the case, suddenly the criticism that surrounds you at home is much less hurtful.

Defiance or betrayal?

Salah in Israel (Photo: Barney Ardov)

"I won't lie, it's very special," Salah said after the game, referring to him passing Robbie Fowler in the club's goalscoring table in the English league.

"I dreamed of this record since my first season here."

So, he finished with 32 goals as the Premier League goalscorer.

By the way, Salah is also the first since Ian Rush to score at least 20 goals in a season for six consecutive seasons for the club.

There is no way to turn it around. He is no longer a club legend in the making, he is a living legend in his own right.

"He is very special. What he achieved is something special, and he deserves it," Jurgen Klopp, his Liverpool coach, said of him after the game;

"He is undoubtedly one of the greatest to have played for this club," added Liverpool defender Andy Robertson.

On Wednesday evening Liverpool launched a teaser for a new production "When Stevie met Salah", in a kind of documentary meeting between two club legends, Steven Gerrard and Salah.

The Egyptian star's placement alongside Gerrard, just after Salah became Liverpool's top scorer in the Premier League, begs the question: who is the bigger player?

Muhammad or Stevie?

The one who grew up in the club, a fan of it, watched over it in the dark years, who was a senior partner in the Istanbul Miracle, and was its undisputed captain and leader, or rather the one who has been smashing all the club's conquest records in the league and in Europe for six years, who led it to win the championship after decades of drought ( which Gerard did not), and in the cup with the big ears?

Opinions are obviously divided.

Gerrard's popularity among the red crowd, and his importance in the history of Liverpool is indisputable, but in terms of football, net, Salah has already quite surpassed him.

And unlike Gerrard, who has already retired and started trying his luck in training, Salah still has a few more years to play, and although once in a while there are rumors about Real Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain, those close to the player admit in private conversations that he wants to end his career as a Red.

Yes, more than Gerard.

Salah in Liverpool (Photo: GettyImages, Michael Regan)

And what about the Israeli angle?

How should Israelis remember Salah?

As one who did come here despite the threat of tens of millions not to come, as one who did pay tribute to the players even though they threatened his family if he would just shake hands, and the one who, when the blood was hot, maintained restraint, unlike all the influential figures in the world and in the culture from which he comes.

In today's climate, certainly after the Guardian of the Walls, after the 2022 World Cup and the increasingly complicated situation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, these steps by Salah can be perceived as precedent, neutral, and even signify openness.

So maybe the image of an "Israel hater" that has stuck to him here is not justified because, in fact, he is not as 'anti-Israeli' as the headlines on websites in Israel and Egypt in 2013 made him out to be?

One way or another, after the last week it seems that it would be good if we start to recognize Salah more for what he is.

So it's true, this season Liverpool will no longer win the title in England, and in the Champions League the situation seems lost for the rematch with Real Madrid, and Salah was unable to lead Egypt to success, and he may not be using his platform to promote the popular political agenda - and that, alongside the admiration Great for his sporting work, in the Arab world he is not forgotten - but Mohamed Salah is a truly historical player, who is becoming before our eyes the best, most influential and greatest player of Liverpool in the last generation.

Yes, even more than Steven Gerrard.

So maybe we too, in Israel, can forget about that incident, 10 years ago, concentrate and simply enjoy it.

Klopp summed it up well earlier this week: "We're used to him scoring all the time so it seems to us that it's 'normal', but after he retires, Salah will be remembered as one of the greatest strikers ever."

  • sport

  • world football

  • English League


  • Mohammad Salah

  • Liverpool

  • The Egyptian national team

Source: walla

All sports articles on 2023-03-11

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