Mohamed Salah’s development at Liverpool has been “a miracle”, says Mido, with the Egyptian now one of few global superstars that can be considered unplayable on their day.
Few, however, could have predicted the impact he would make on Merseyside, with a remarkable debut campaign delivering 44 goals and countless individual honours.
Salah’s season did on an injury low in the Champions League final, with an untimely ailment still being worked on ahead of World Cup duty, but he is ready to shoulder the expectations of a nation in Russia and further ehance his standing on the grandest of stages.
Mido told The Guardian of an illustrious countryman who has quickly become a national hero in Egypt: “He’s the kind of guy who says: ‘Come on, even if I have the whole nation on my shoulders, I don’t mind that.’
“He’s a great guy and I think the way he developed as a person, comparing Salah of Chelsea and Salah of Liverpool, is a miracle.
“I saw him at Chelsea and he was a shy boy. I even said on TV that if he keeps that character, unfortunately he will never be a big player, but that his quality can make it to the top.
“Three years ago when Liverpool wanted to sign Salah and he went to Chelsea, I went on Twitter and said: ‘Salah is 10 times better than [Raheem] Sterling’, and people laughed at me.
“Sterling is a very good player, he’s developed so much under [Pep] Guardiola, but Salah is unbelievable, one of the very few players that if it’s his day, there’s no way to stop him.”
Manchester City star Sterling did impress in 2017-18, earning a nomination for the PFA Young Player of the Year award, but Salah topped the England international by some distance as he took the main PFA Player of the Year prize.
He is now looking to carry his club form into World Cup 2018, with Egypt still sweating on his fitness ahead of an opening Group A encounter with Uruguay on Friday.