Mohamed Salah: Player Profile

Personal information 

Full name: Mohamed Salah Ghaly
Date of birth: 15 June 1992 (age 21)
Place of birth: Basion, El Gharbia, Egypt
Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position: Winger / Striker

Club information
Current club: FC Basel
Number: 22

Youth career
Arab Contractors SC

Senior career
2010–2012 Arab Contractors 41 Appearances, 11 Goals
2012– Basel 58 Appearances, 14 Goals

National team
2010-2011 Egypt U-20 11 Appearances, 3 Goals
2011-2012 Egypt U-23 11 Appearances, 4 Goals
2011– Egypt 24 Appearances, 17 Goals

Egypt's Weapon Salah Looking To Take Egypt To World Cup. Salah has been Egypt's most prolific goal scorer as he bagged six goals in six games for the Pharaohs in the group stages of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. Egyptian coach, Bob Bradley has named a strong squad to face Ghana in the first leg of the World Cup play-off in Kumasi on October 15. The 25-man squad is a blend of experience and youth. And among that experience is 21 year old Mohamed Salah.

His astonishing goal for Egypt in the 4-2 win over Zimbabwe in a World Cup qualifier last June was sublime. Receiving a pass from Mohamed Aboutrika just inside the opposition half, Salah evaded a challenge with a deft first touch, drifted past the last defender into the penalty area, before effortlessly clipping the ball past the advancing goalkeeper.

His career trajectory suggests he is well on the way to becoming one of the best players to emerge from Arab and African football. “Salah is the future of Egyptian football. He was the best player against Zimbabwe,” the Egypt coach Bob Bradley said after Salah’s hat-trick heroics in Harare. “His performance was historic.”
Salah began his career at Arab Contractors in 2010 at age 18, where his 11 goals in 41 league appearances shot him to prominence and paved the way for a move to Switzerland in the summer of 2012.

He has netted 14 times in 58 matches so far for Basel. This season, Salah has already scored 11 goals for club and country. Coaches often like to differentiate between great goalscorers and scorers of great goals. Salah, a winger-cum-forward, is the perfect hybrid of both. He has blistering pace and rarely scores tap-ins, preferring mazy solo runs and expert finishes with his left foot.

Chelsea, for one, will be sick of the sight of Salah. Last season, he scored in Basel’s 3-1 loss to the Premier League side in their Europa League semi-final second-leg meeting, but it was his performance against them last month that really grabbed their attention. He scored the equaliser with a classy left foot finish just inside the box that was followed by a role in the move that produced the corner from which captain Marco Streller scored Basel’s winner in the 2-1 victory in their opening Champions League Group E game at Stamford Bridge.

It has not just been at club level though that he has impressed. Salah’s form for Egypt has been superb since making his debut against Sierra Leone just over two years ago. His 17 goals in 24 international matches testify to that. Last year he scored in all three of Egypt’s group matches at the London Olympics; a stunning shot in the 3-2 loss to Brazil that Lionel Messi would have been proud of, and goals in the 1-1 draw with New Zealand and 3-1 win over Belarus.

It is his role in leading Egypt to the brink of qualification for next year’s World Cup in Brazil that has captured the hearts of his countrymen. A week after the hat-trick against Zimbabwe, he scored against Mozambique in a 1-0 win that kept Egypt at the top of the group.

His goal in the last qualifier, a 4-2 win over Guinea last month, propelled Salah to No 1 in the goalscoring charts with six, and ensured Egypt’s 100% win record to the play-offs for the finals. On Tuesday Salah and his teammates take on Ghana at Baba Yara Stadium for their first-leg play-off, and on October 19 they host the return leg at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo.

Even for a country with a rich football history, qualification for Brazil 2014, to the backdrop of debilitating political and social chaos, could well prove to be the Egypt’s finest hour. Alongside the veteran Aboutrika, the not-so-secret weapon Salah will be central to Bradley’s plans.“Salah is a perfect professional player both on and off the pitch,” the American Bradley said after the win over Zimbabwe. “He will play a great role in guiding us to the World Cup finals.

Salah now goes into arguably the most important match of his life and comes into it in great scoring form having scored for Basel last weekend. Top of the Swiss league, taking the Champions League by storm and within touching distance of World Cup qualification. For Salah, life is sweet.