‘Don’t Compare Him With Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’: Egypt Legend Claims Mohamed Salah Not Fit to be a Captain

Last Updated: February 12, 2024, 15:54 IST

Mohamed Salah recently represented Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations. (AFP Photo)

Mohamed Salah is currently recovering from a hamstring injury he suffered while playing for Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Mohamed Salah might be the biggest Egyptian football star currently but he has constantly faced criticism for his failure to inspire the national team to success at the international level. Salah has enjoyed immense success while playing club football for Liverpool but it hasn’t been the case playing for Egypt.

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Salah is also the Egypt captain and he recently was criticised for leaving the national team midway through their Africa Cup of Nations campaign in Ivory Coast after picking up a hamstring injury.

Salah flew back to England to begin recovery from the injury which turned out to be more serious than anticipated.

Egypt legend Mido was among those who criticised Salah for leaving the squad and he has taken a fresh aim at his countryman while dissecting the 31-year-old’s leadership skills.

Drawing comparisons with the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Mido claimed that Salah has never been a ‘leader on the pitch’ and that’s why he has never been given the captain’s armband at Liverpool despite his stature.

“Is Messi as a leader for Argentina like Salah as a leader for Egypt? Salah is Egypt’s star, but does what he does with the national team resemble what Messi does with Argentina? Does Salah do what Ronaldo does with Portugal? Directing players in penalty kicks, saying who will take the shot and who will follow, and imposing his personality on everyone,” Mido told The Untold podcast.

“Salah has evolved mentally, but he has never been a leader on the pitch, the evidence for that is why he didn’t get the captain’s armband at Liverpool? Ask yourself why Salah has never worn the captain’s armband for Liverpool? Don’t say it’s because he’s a foreign player, as this is not a factor in English football, and there is ample evidence. Salah was negatively affected by becoming the captain of Egypt. He would have had more freedom and less pressure if he remained without that armband,” he added.

Mido, who represented the Egypt senior men’s team 51 times during his international career, further claimed Salah doesn’t enjoy captaincy.

“If Salah were the captain of Liverpool, he wouldn’t have delivered the same strong performance. He is one of those players who find it difficult to bear the burden of captaincy. Salah cannot wear the captain’s armband with Mohamed El-Shenawy and Ahmed Hegazi on the pitch. Hegazi, specifically, is the captain of Ittihad Jeddah, one of the oldest clubs in Saudi Arabia,” he said.

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