Former FC Basel president Bernhard Heusler has compared Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah’s humbleness and his character to that of Switzerland great Roger Federer.
Salah, who started his career with a local Egypt club El Mokawloon, burst on to the scenes when FC Basel played a friendly game against Egypt’s U23 team following the Port Said Stadium riot (where 74 people were killed and more than 500 were injured).
The match was played in Basel and the Swiss side were already tracking Salah’s progress by then. Despite missing the first-half action, Salah came on in the second period and won the game for his country 4-3, with him scoring two goals in the process.
Basel were left humbled by his performance and asked him to stay in Switzerland for a week’s training and before anyone would know, he signed a four-year contract with the club. After spending two seasons with the club, Chelsea came knocking on his doors but with the lack of regular first-team football coupled with him being unable to cope with the pressure, a couple of loan deals followed before Roma made his transfer a permanent one.
Eventually, in the summer of 2017, Liverpool concluded days of speculation after agreeing to pay a reported £34m for the Egyptian. Once described as an unfit personnel for the Premier League, Salah took the lead by storm and became the first Liverpool player to score 20 league goals since 2014. Salah has played 36 games in all competitions for Liverpool thus far and has grabbed a whopping 30 goals.
In an interview with Sky Sports, former Basel president Bernhard Heusler spoke highly of Salah’s time at St. Jakob-Park and went on to compare the Egyptian’s humble nature to Switzerland’s one and only, Roger Federer, a 20-time Grand Slam winner in tennis.
“There are a few sportsmen like this. Roger Federer is another. They never forget where they are from. They are humble and respect the people who were involved in their pathway even when they have gone on to bigger things. Maybe it is no coincidence that it is the most successful people who are like that. I am so impressed with him.”
Salah was yet again in the limelight when Liverpool faced Southampton at the St. Mary’s as he first laid down an assist for Roberto Firmino’s opener before scoring his 22nd goal of the Premier League. He even scored earlier in the day against Porto and it is remarkable how the Egyptian continues his fine form this season.