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Salah on Things Pushing Him to “Work Harder”

Asked to praise himself, Salah mostly has kind words for everyone else

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Mohamed Salah of Liverpool during a training session at AXA Training Centre on November 23, 2023 in Kirkby, England.
Mohamed Salah of Liverpool during a training session at AXA Training Centre on November 23, 2023 in Kirkby, England.
Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Speaking to Florent Sinama-Pongolle for, Mohamed Salah spoke at length on Liverpool’s relationship with Saturday’s opponents, Manchester City, and his general sense of where he and the squad are at this point in their evolution.

In terms of the two sides’ tendency to be competing with each other for major honors, Salah considered the benefits of their close competition:

It makes us [a] better team, it makes us better players and I’m sure it makes the manager a better manager as well. When you always know that someone is going to win the games and someone is always waiting for you to lose a game, you always work harder than you usually do. It makes us [a] better team and better players.

Speaking more specifically on Liverpool and his position as a leader within the side — though Salah refused to single himself out for praise:

We felt – me, Virgil [Van Dijk] and the other guys, Robbo [Andy Robertson], Ali [Alisson] – that we need to really take a step forward and just try to handle everything – Trent [Alexander-Arnold], for sure, he’s still young anyway! – to make everybody feel [at] home and just have a good group. I think the group is fantastic. The players are nice and have very good personalities. They just want to work hard and they just want to achieve stuff, which is a good thing. We try to help them. They need to help themselves and I’m sure they watch us [in] what we’re doing and just try to learn.

Salah spent some time discussing Darwin Núñez, who has been assisting the Egyptian for fun in recent weeks, and other teammates who help to facilitate his game:

I think because he saw that I’m always looking at him when he’s running and [I’m] just trying to give him assists, try to give him balls, he’s always trying his best to give me the ball back. I think because we are both fast and we both have speed, it makes us understand each other’s game.

But also when Cody [Gakpo] plays in that position, he’s a fantastic guy. If you understand their game, your game is going to be easier. So I’m trying always to understand the other players’ games, so I know where I could be in that position with this player and with other players it’s different. Kostas [Tsimikas] and Robbo [are] completely different, Darwin and Cody are also different. So I have to adapt with the players who are going to play and who’s where.

Given he’s in his thirties and relies on speed, Salah was asked to speak on his own condition — and on how he’s maintained his levels:

I really take care of my body. I know that if you want to achieve big things, you have to work really hard – that’s science, it’s not just me saying that. I always try to take care of the small details – treatment, gym. And you can ask everybody, I always try to come first and leave last. I dedicate my life for the game. I just want to be fit all the time, so you do small things and [they] make a huge difference in the detail.

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