Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is a “madman” in training who makes fellow players want to “work harder”, according to former Roma team-mate Gervinho.
Egypt international Salah established himself as one of world football’s biggest stars during an outstanding 2017-18 campaign that saw him net 32 goals in 36 Premier League games for the Reds.
He also helped Jurgen Klopp’s side reach the Champions League final in Kiev and scored twice for his country in their first World Cup appearance for 28 years in Russia.
The 26-year-old joined the Reds from Roma at the beginning of last season, where he had established himself as a key player in Serie A following a previously underwhelming stint in English football with Chelsea.
Salah’s arrival in the Italian capital, initially on loan following a similar temporary spell at Fiorentina, effectively spelled the end of Gervinho’s first-team duties, with the Ivory Coast man departing to China five months later.
During the period where they shared the same club however, the 31-year-old admitted that he was in awe of his fellow winger’s intensity, adding that he not only possessed the talent to be a star, but also the work ethic and sacrifice.
“Salah is a tough guy,” Gervinho, who returned to Serie A this season with Parma, told the Guardian . “Always calm and strong, with the mentality of a hard worker.
“I'll never forget his training sessions: very high rhythm, pushed like a madman, you watched him in amazement.
“He had a sort of positive effect – you saw Salah and wanted to work harder. Talent and sacrifice.”
Salah arrived at the Stadio Olimpico on a temporary year-long deal in August 2015 from Chelsea following a failure to break into the Blues’ first team and was named Roma’s Player of the Season for the 2015-16 campaign.
He made a subsequent permanent move to the club and helped them to a second-place finish in Serie A the following season, before departing for Liverpool in a deal that is estimated to potentially rise to £50 million (£$64m).
The Reds return to action on Saturday following the November international break, as they travel to Vicarage Road to face Watford in the Premier League.