Mo Salah enjoys a prodigious reputation for his football skills, but it seems the Egyptian superstar is an even bigger hero off the pitch.
Like all the best heroes, Mo’s origins are humble, he began playing football as a kid on the streets of his hometown in Nagrig, Egypt – a relatively poor town between Cairo and Alexandra.
Locals were convinced the young boy had the talent to become one of the world’s greatest players, and they weren’t wrong.
Mo’s rise has been meteoric and he’s gone from playing for his local club El Mokawloon SC, to playing for some of the world’s biggest teams, including Basel, Roma and Chelsea.
It’s his time at Liverpool though where he’s really shone, breaking goal records and helping the team secure a place in the Champions League final.
Yet despite his incredible success, Mo’s never forgotten his roots, and according to the Daily Mail, he makes frequent trips back to Nagrig to help the people and kids there.
Over the years he’s donated gym equipment to the local community centre, paid for an all-weather football pitch to be installed at his old school and apparently, he brings the local children toys every Ramadan.
It’s not just money Mo gives though, he also gives his time, making sure to visit his old home and catch up with the old faces.
Mohamed Bassyouni, a childhood friend said:
He still comes back to Nagrig, every Ramadan, to present prizes to local kids. He comes here, he plays table tennis and pool.
When he comes back, he signs every autograph, stands for every picture. He hasn’t changed.
Even when he scored the last minute goal against the Congo, which secured the Egyptian team a place in the World Cup for the first time in 18 years, Mo remained humble.
He turned down the offer of a villa from Mamdouh Abbas, the former chairman of Zamalek.
Instead, Mo asked for a donation to be made to his hometown. Perhaps though the greatest sign of his generosity, and just being a generally great guy, is his ability to forgive.
Mo was able to forgive a man who robbed his family while he was playing in Alexandria.
Even when his father pushed to press charges, Mo refused, instead dropping the case and giving the thief some money so he could sort himself out.
Mo even went so far as to help the thief try and get a job, a sign of how committed he is to helping people.
What lies ahead for Mo? Well, he’ll be hoping to do Egypt proud at the 2018 World cup in Russia.
It was feared he’d be unable to play following a clash with Sergio Ramos at the Champions League final in Kiev, a clash which saw the young player taken off the pitch in tears.
Thankfully though, medics have given Mo the all clear and the Egyptian Football Association confirmed he’ll be fit enough to play, in a Facebook post:
The delegation of the national team was briefed on the recovery programme for the player, who is walking well and aims to join the squad in the World Cup, as well as the determination of the great player to catch up with his team-mates.
For his part, Mohamed Abou El-Ela said that the period of absence of Salah due to injury will not exceed three weeks.
Egypt’s first match takes place on June 15 against Uruguay, and they’ll play their second game against Russia just four days later.
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