Mohamed Salah’s former youth coach says the Liverpool forward’s ambition and desire allied with his natural talent means he is capable of becoming one of the best players in the world.
Hamdy Nouh worked with Salah while youth coach at Egyptian side El Mokawloon SC, and he admitted Salah’s raw ability made him a stand out even as a young teenager.
After four years with the youth side Salah soon established himself in the senior team, playing for two seasons before joining Swiss side FC Basel in 2012.
"I met Salah when he was 14 years old after he came over from Tanta,” Nouh told Goal . ”He played with me for two seasons and was the top scorer with more than 30 goals each season!
"I saw great talent and insistence on success so I always tried to help him develop on the pitch in individual training and also outside in terms of the psychological side. It helped that he was committed and had great ambition.
"He was promoted to the first team and impressed everyone from the beginning with his abilities and his speed. He moved to Basel after that and always told me when he was in Switzerland that it will not be the last step and that he wanted to play with the best clubs in the world.”
After two successful seasons at Basel, Salah joined Chelsea for £11 million ($13.8m) in January 2014.
He would struggle for regular first-team football at Stamford Bridge, though, and spent time out on loan at Fiorentina at Roma.
He would eventually make a permanent move to Giallorossi and another successful season the Italian capital prompted Liverpool to sign the 26-year-old for £38m ($46.6m) in 2017.
Salah his since plundered 60 goals in just 79 appearances for the Merseysiders, and Nouh believes some of his coaching expertise has contributed to the Egyptian's success at Anfield.
"I gave him all the experience I had in my career and training for him to be the best," he added. "I always told him that he would need his right foot in some situations to score goals, which we've seen happen a lot with Liverpool.
"The injury in the Champions League final along with the events of the last World Cup was the reason for the temporary decline in Salah's level. This is possible for all players in the world.
"Salah's commitment and determination helped him to overcome this stage and not celebrate [his return to form]. He wanted to move on from what he did last season."
When asked what Salah could achieve in his career, Nouh predicts he will become one of the world's best.
"Salah can win Ballon d'Or. He has great determination, a desire to develop and ambition without limit. He has to keep himself grounded and not surrender to pressure. Protecting himself from injury will also be important."