Egypt and Basel striker Mohamed Salah believes he still has much to deliver in football until he joins one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Salah enjoyed a year to remember, steering Basel to a fourth consecutive Swiss league title and earning rave reviews for his impressive displays with Egypt, although the Pharaohs failed to reach next year's World Cup finals in Brazil.
His dazzling performance with the Swiss club last season earned him the 2013 Swiss Golden Player Award earlier this month.
Great European clubs like Tottenham, Liverpool, Galatasaray and Monaco were recently linked with a move to sign the Egyptian attacker, who has been consistently praised for his pace and trickery down the flanks.
"Despite winning the 2013 Swiss Golden Player Award, I believe I haven't achieved anything in Europe yet," Salah said in a televised interview on the private satellite station MBC late on Monday.
"My main target is to deliver more outstanding performances until I join one of the biggest European clubs.
"I am always eager to forget what I did and look forward, only to avoid losing hope or being arrogant," the frontman added.
The secret behind Salah's success in Basel
Since joining Basel last season from Egypt's Arab Contractors, Salah quickly established himself as one of the team's key elements at both the domestic and continental levels, scoring nine goals in all competitions.
Salah helped Basel win the Swiss league title last season and finish as runners-up in the Swiss Cup.
He scored twice for Basel in both the UEFA Europa League, where the team reached the semi-finals, and the UEFA Champions League last season.
The 21-year-old attacker scored 10 goals for Basel in all competitions so far this season, including the only goal in Basel's 1-0 victory over Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea at the Champions League.
"Sticking with my religion is the main reason behind my success in Europe," explained Salah, also winner of the CAF Most Promising African Talent of the Year award in 2012.
"Basel management help me and other Muslim players fulfil our religious rituals without any problems," he added.
The Basel forward dreams of World Cup spot
The in-form Salah forged an effective partnership with Ahly's retired star Mohamed Abou-Treika during Egypt's 2014 World Cup failed qualifying run, with both men combining on many occasions to unsettle opposing backlines.
As significant harmony between the duo became evident, Salah recently said "it is because of him that I am the top scorer of the qualifiers.
"The fact that we have few players playing in Europe affected us negatively in our World Cup campaign," Salah explained to MBC.
"I wonder why some Egyptian clubs reject European offers for their players despite the great interest for both clubs and the national team.
"Also the suspension of the domestic league's last two seasons contributed to Egypt's failure in reaching the finals in Brazil".
"Anyway, my dream is to reach the world cup finals in the future," he added.
Salah again hails Abou-Treika
Mohamed Aboutrika of Egypt's Al-Ahly (Photo: Reuters)
After seeing his hopes of reaching the World Cup demolished, Abou-Treika decided to retire from football a week ago. Following the announcement, Salah heaped praise on the veteran star, saying he has learned a lot from the classy playmaker.
"Abou-Treika is my mentor at the domestic level and I have a strong relationship with him. Also Zamalek's star Shikabala is an idol," Salah said on Monday.
"Ahly's winger Abdullah El-Said is one of the best players in Egypt. Keeping him out of his preferred position, mid-field, was unjust and I hope he can get the chance to shine with Ahly after Abou-Treika's retirement," he concluded.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports)