Egyptian, 26, Soccer
Liverpool’s Egyptian king bridging cultural gaps
Representatives: Ramy Abbas Issa
Key partners: Adidas, Vodafone, Pepsi, DHL, Uber
The story of Mohamed Salah’s Premier League redemption echoed further afield than the Anfield terraces on which his name is sung. Unwanted and cast away by Chelsea in 2016, the Egyptian returned to England from Rome to score 44 goals in his debut season for Liverpool, firing the club to their first Uefa Champions League final since 2007.
But beyond the goals and menacing runs, Salah’s true power is a unifying one. At a time when Islamophobia is on the rise in Britain and elsewhere, the 26-year-old is an Arab Muslim who is not only accepted on UK shores, but cherished. In Egypt, where Salah’s face is painted on street corner murals, his standing as a national treasure was already secure before he scored the penalty that sent the country to their first World Cup finals in 28 years.
A humble, down-to-earth competitor, Salah has become a cultural and social phenomenon. Whether he can achieve his goal-scoring feats again next season no longer seems significant; what matters most now is his presence, which always appears to be cause for celebration wherever he goes. SC