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'Unparalleled ambition' - Salah's risks to star in Europe revealed by Liverpool star's former youth coaches

18:27 BST 02/07/2020
Mohamed Salah - Liverpool
The Egyptian forward's desire and determination as a youngster helped develop him into the player he is today

Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah’s “unparalleled ambition” to play in Europe has been revealed by some of his former coaches, who also believe a move to the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona could occur in the future.

Salah is one of the biggest names in world football, having thrived at Liverpool since making the move from Roma three seasons ago, winning the Champions League, Premier League, Super Cup and Club World Cup.

However, he was a relative unknown beyond his native Egypt when he made the move from Egyptian Premier League side El Mokawloon to Swiss outfit Basel as a 20-year-old in the spring of 2012 after a successful trial.

The forward was determined to make the move to Europe as soon as possible, even turning down offers from some of Egypt’s biggest clubs to make the move to Switzerland.

"Salah rejected offers from local clubs like Al-Ahly and Zamalek to fulfil his dream to play in Europe, that is why he went to Basel,” Mohamed Awad, former assistant coach at Mokawloon, told Goal.

"The general supervisor at the time made it clear to Salah that the trial at Basel might end without a contract and that he would not find an offer from Al-Ahly and Zamalek [still there], but the player was determined to move to Basel. It was then we we knew that Salah would succeed because of his unparalleled ambition".

Hamdi Noah, Salah’s coach at El Mokawloon, was impressed with Salah’s professionalism and determination to improve as a youngster.

"From a young age, he used to listen to advice, and implement it carefully, which contributed to developing himself very quickly,” he said.

"When I saw him, I was surprised about the speeds and accuracy of his left foot. I worked with him to complete what he lacks as well as working on the psychological side to prepare him to be a professional player, and what helped me in that was that he did everything he was told, which made him play in the first team at the age of 16”.

Diaa El Sayed, a former Egyptian national team youth coach who worked with Salah, added: "Throughout his career he has an ambition to develop and is a good listener for advice and its implementation, and this is what all coaches unanimously agree on, as he benefits from any experience and his ambition has no limit."

Such fierce ambition has led to speculation Salah could move on from Liverpool in the near future, with La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona rumoured to be admirers.

Though he seems settled at Anfield for now, his former coaches believe Salah is ambitious enough and talented enough to be a success in Spain, where he has yet to play during his career.

"Salah's ambitions would make him think of leaving Liverpool to find a new challenge. I think La Liga would suit him," said Awad.

”The decision to leave Liverpool belongs to Salah only," added Noah. "On a personal level, I want to see him in La Liga to play with Barcelona or Real Madrid because that what would make him win the Ballon d’or.”