Mohamed Salah did not show a hint of ego as he set about becoming the African Player of the Year and a Liverpool fan favourite in 2017.
The Egyptian forward joined the Reds from AS Roma last summer and by the penultimate day of the calendar year had struck 23 goals in all competitions for the club.
On the international stage, he was his country’s hero as they secured qualification for the World Cup in Russia in the most dramatic circumstances. The 25-year-old scored both goals – the second a 95th-minute penalty – to defeat Congo 2-1 in October and clinch a ticket for the tournament.
Earlier this week his exploits were rewarded with the CAF African Player of the Year accolade, and the manner in which Salah has established himself among the elite has earned praise from Egypt coach Hector Cuper.
“What’s most notable about the role of Mohamed Salah is that he was just another player,” Cuper, who oversaw the Pharaohs’ World Cup qualifying campaign, told FIFA.com.
“What do I mean by that? Well, he scored the majority of the goals but worked and ran just like everyone else. For him it’s always been about the group and he gets no special privileges. That might seem like a small detail but it’s a very significant one.
“He’s an enormously talented yet very modest player. People often say the national team is ‘Salah and 10 others’ to which I reply, ‘maybe that’s true as he’s someone who can win a match for you, but also because he just sees himself as another player’.
“That’s something both him and his teammates understand very well. There have been no ego problems whatsoever.”