Mohamed Salah left Chelsea after playing just 19 matches in all competitions before moving on loan to Fiorentina and Roma and eventually becoming one of the world’s best players at Liverpool
Mohamed Salah has revealed he had to quit Chelsea to find his footballing level because the Blues wanted him to change his game.
Jose Mourinho was boss at Stamford Bridge when Salah joined from Basel in January 2014. The Egyptian winger failed to make an impression and was sent out on loan, first to Fiorentina and then Roma, who eventually signed him on a permanent basis in 2016.
A year later Salah moved to Liverpool and has established himself as one of the best and most flamboyant goalscorers in world football. He has now scored 106 Premier League goals in 150 starts for Jurgen Klopp’s side. He finished last season with 31 goals in all competitions and this season he has already netted 17 times in 18 appearances.
“Serie A helped me a lot,” he said. “I have wonderful memories both in Rome and in Florence, where I received a lot of affection.”
GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
“When I was at Chelsea, I had to change the type of football and culture, and I felt that I needed to change my way of playing.
“So, I went to Italy and played well: that period was a great help to get to where I am now.”
Salah, 29, finished seventh in the Ballon D’Or voting on Monday night as Lionel Messi lifted a record seventh title. Salah has scored 32 club goals in 2021, the same number as Messi but fewer than runner-up Robert Lewandowski.
But the Egyptian did clinch the Golden Foot Award, given to players for their athletic achievements as individual and team players, as well as for their personality.
He was also voted the Football Supporters’ Association Men’s Player of the Year at the FSA Awards, claiming the award for the second time having also won in 2018.
Would Mohamed Salah have progressed in a similar way if he had stayed at Chelsea? Comment here
Catherine Ivill/AMA/AMA/Corbis via Getty Images)
Messi paid tribute to Salah and Lewandowski in his acceptance speech. PSG’s Argentina legend said: “Salah will have opportunities in the years to come. Both players [Salah and Lewandowski] are at their best at the moment and will have more chances to win it.”
Salah in turn paid tribute to the support he received from Fiorentina and Roma fans which helped him to grow as a player during his time in Italy.
He went on: “I want to greet both the Roma and the Fiorentina fans. I spent fantastic moments there, in which I always felt the love of the people. I can only thank them.
“I have wonderful memories of the years that have helped me grow both as a person and as a player. Maybe we’ll meet again.”