Salah is a star on and off the pitch: Egypt coach Vitoria

Mahmoud Elassal , Sunday 30 Jul 2023

Egypt's national team coach Rui Vitoria has praised Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah confirming he is a star on the pitch and off it.

File Photo: Egypt s Mohamed Salah at the end of the African Cup of Nations 2022 group D soccer match against Sudan at the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. AP


Vitoria has been in charge of Egypt since July 2022, under a four-year contract with the Egyptian Football Association (EFA).

According to Vitoria, Salah was the first person to message him when he took over the Pharaohs.

"The stars sometimes are on the pitch and off it they are not the stars. Salah is both," he added.

Vitoria praised Salah's positive energy, humility, and readiness to help his team and country.

"He has the details that make all the difference," Vitoria said.

"It is incredible how he decides so fast and how he is always in the right specific space. He is very important for us."

Under Vitoria's guidance, Egypt has won all seven games, scoring 17 goals and conceding only two. The Pharaohs also topped Group D in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, securing a place in the 2023 cup to be played in Cote D'Ivoire.

Salah, 31, scored four goals and provided four assists for Egypt in five appearances under Vitoria's leadership.

Since joining Liverpool in 2017, he has made 305 appearances, scored 186 goals, and provided 79 assists.

Salah has won numerous awards, including the African Player of the Year trophy twice in 2017 and 2018, as well as the England Footballer of the Year in 2017 and 2022.

He helped Liverpool win the UEFA Champions League title in 2019 season and the English Premier League in 2020.

Vitoria believes Salah will continue to play at the top level for the next four or five years.

"He's determined to win everything. He is a winner, never afraid and doesn't want to miss that opportunity," Vitoria said.

"He's a fantastic professional. He looks to keep improving to stay at a high level. Sleep, breakfast, the gym — anything and everything," Vitoria said in an interview with The Athletic.

Vitoria also praised Salah's leadership qualities. "Salah is a very good captain, the profile that I like," he said.

"He helps to solve all problems at all times."

Vitoria started his coaching career in the early 2000s and led Benfica to back-to-back Portuguese League titles in 2016 and 2017.

He also steered Saudi Arabia's Al-Nassr to the Saudi League crown in 2019.

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