Today, 27 years ago, a legend and a national hero was born. It’s Egyptian Liverpool Footballer Mohamed Salah we’re talking about. Dubbed as the Egyptian King, Salah is immensely loved by not just people of his homeland, but by fans from all over the world. So, on this special day, the 15th of June, and as Mo turns 27, we’d like to acknowledge 27 reasons why we, his people, value his existence.
#1 He’s extremely humble
For starters, the man is very down to earth even though he’s a walking legend. Unlike others, he doesn’t claim to be number 1, even though he is!
#2 He’s a badass striker
After all, Mo Salah is a footballer, and no one can disagree that he’s really good at what he does. The guy has turned the heads of football fans from all corners of the world.
#3 He’s a hard worker
Without hard work, dedication, and perseverance, Mo couldn’t have come this far. He started from the bottom and now here he is, and here is so great!
#4 Those curls though!
Mo’s look is one of the distinctive things about, him and we’d have to say, his curls are our hair goals!
#5 He got us to the FIFA World Cup
Even though we didn’t make it out of the group stage, Mo Salah broke Magdi Abdelghani’s curse and took us all the way to Russia last year.
#6 He’s focused
Unlike many others, Mo didn’t let fame get to him. No spotlights could distract him from his goals.
#7 Doing good
Doing good deeds is pretty common, but for Salah, it’s a priority. Mo has performed so many acts of kindness and charity work that make us truly proud of him.
#8 He’s the first Arab and African player to win an FWA award
Last year in May, Mo proudly won the prestigious Football Writers’ Association (FWA) award for being the top player of the season.
#9 He won the Golden Boot, TWICE!
The Golden Boot is an award that is presented to the top goalscorer of the season in the European national league matches. And as if one wasn’t enough, Mo’s got himself a pair!
#10 He’s the first Egyptian to win the Champions League
Not just that, but he even helped Liverpool win after a long wait of 14 years!
#11 His sense of humour
If you’re following Salah’s relationship with his teammates on social media or watch his interviews, you’ll be quite familiar with this one. Cracking a joke is his thing.
#12 He’s a role model
Being a role model is one of the greatest things one could be. The fact that the new generations are looking up to him is more than enough to make him a national hero.
#13 The “Inta Aa’wa Mel Mokhadarat” ad
Created to combat drug addiction, Salah was the public figure chosen to convey a powerful message, that “you’re stronger than drugs”. Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali stated that the drugs rehabilitation hotline has witnessed a whopping 400% increase in calls.
#14 He spreads joy
Not just teens and young adults that look up to him and follow his footsteps, and not just his fellow Egyptians. Everyone has seen those cute videos where Salah surprised British school kids more than once. Everybody loves a guy with a warm heart. *sniff*
#15 Islamophobia is declining because of him
According to a Stanford study, Mo has had a major role in reducing hate crimes and Islamophobia in England. His positive influence is going way beyond the football field, and we couldn’t be any happier.
#16 He made us read more
Remember when the world spotted Mo reading “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”? Well, the book has witnessed a massive increase in sales; especially the Arabic translated version, just because of a picture posted on the web. Even Mark Manson, the book’s author, took to Twitter to send his love to Mo.
#17 He’s well-spoken
Unlike others we could mention, he knows how to speak in public. That’s the kind of image we’d love the world to see.
#18 His relationship with his wife
Goals or not, being there together through it all is what makes this relationship seem stronger than ever. After all, as the saying goes, “behind every great man is a great woman”.
#19 How he’s a great example of a supportive father
Other than the cute relationship he has with his daughter, have you seen how he plays along when she casually walks into the pitch and starts running with the ball? Well, not all fathers embrace their kids’ talent like that. Kudos to that.
#20 The fan chants
From “Running Down the Wing” to “Ya Negm Ya Star”, every single song with his name in it is catchy enough to get stuck on replay. There are enough to good chants to make an entire playlist.
#21 Everything aside, Mo Salah is hot
Sorry, but not sorry. It’s the truth.
#22 Salah football boots’ price tag is as hefty as Messi’s and Ronaldo’s
Football boots that carry the Egyptian King’s name and signature are sold for AED 3,999 per boot, not the pair! Pretty expensive, yes, but they’re the same price as Messi’s, Ronaldo’s, and Pelé’s.
#23 He’s eco-conscious
In light of the world calling for zero waste and eliminating plastic use, Salah teamed up with Adidas and took a stand. With the introduction of the new product line, Adidas Parley, which is a collab between the sportswear brand Adidas and Parley for the Oceans organisation. Brand new shoes are produced with plastic ocean debris. And guess who’s the face of the campaign? Salah also joined Adidas in its global initiative, “Run for the Ocean”, that encourages people to start taking part in the cleaning of seas and oceans.
#24 He’s a good fisherman
Well, that was a good catch! It seems like Mo never runs out of trophies!
#25 He never let us down
Football or not, the guy never let us down. Of course, like there are ups, there are downs, but when it comes to it, he knows how to compensate for our loss.
#26 Time Magazine named him among the 100 Most Influential People
This one explains itself.
#27 “Fakhr El Arab”
With all that being said, is it too hard to understand why we call him “Fakhr El Arab”?
Happy birthday, Mo! We love you for everything that you are. We’ll even make up more reasons if we have to.
By Nadine Arab