Mo' Salah hasn't won over the hearts of just Egyptians it seems.
68-year-old British expat, Terry Thornton, claims to have played football with a barefoot 11-year-old Mo' Salah 15 years ago, and bought him his first pair of trainers after having been blown-away by the Liverpool forward's skills on the 'pitch'.
Thornton - who was a Bradford Textile employee in Egypt at the time - claims to have bought the player his trainers many moons ago when they'd played a friendly football game together. A pre-teen at the time, the Liverpool striker had participated in 12 matches with the factory employees at the time, and Thornton was impressed. Recalling that the Egyptian footballer had scored seven out of the eight goals during the match, Thornton adds, “We didn’t get any nearer. He stood out, his speed stood out – in other words, we couldn’t catch him.”
Dubbing Salah the 'barefoot millionaire', Thornton raves about the Egyptian player’s humble attitude and passion for football, apparent even at a young age.
“He has more beard than he had back then, but he’s still got that passion, he still plays the same," says Thornton.
The games that Thornton claims to have played with Salah, would take place in a desert area in Cairo around 15 years ago. Thornton details the game that witnessed the beginnings of Salah, saying that “he was the best player on both teams. In the first game, they won 8-0. I think he got seven of them."
Terry back in Egypt
Thornton - who left Egypt 10 years ago due to health complications - explains that the 'Salah' memories were triggered when his son mentioned the Egyptian player's successful season with Liverpool.
Having left around the same time that Salah's ascent into fame and professional football began, Thornton adds," He wasn't shy, and he'd always do his prayers before and after the match. He was a great guy. If he walked in today he’d buy everybody something. They didn’t have anything, that was par for the course out there. Whatever they had, they shared."
Main image from scontent-rtl.akamaized.net