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Mohamed Salah Pays Tribute To ill Egypt Teammate Moamen Zakaria

The 28-year-old honoured his compatriot who is suffering from ALS after sealing his hat-trick with a match-winning penalty at Anfield

Mohamed Salah got his 2020-21 season off to a flying start by scoring a hat-trick as Liverpool narrowly beat newly-promoted Leeds United 4-3 at Anfield on Saturday.

The 28-year-old opened the scoring by lashing a penalty into the roof of the net, added a spectacular half-volleyed second to make it 3-2 and then converted from the spot again late on to put Liverpool 4-3 up.

After netting the game-clinching goal two minutes from the end of the normal time, Salah turned to the nearest camera and covered his ears in celebration before pointing two fingers down.

According to Egyptian sports journalist Eslam Magdy, Salah’s celebration was a show of support towards Egypt international Moamen Zakaria who was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – commonly known as ALS or motor neurone disease – 18 months ago.

Zakaria, a 32-year-old forward who was most recently contracted to Egyptian football’s most successful club Al-Ahly, used to celebrate his goals by covering his ears.

On Friday night, Zakaria’s former teammates at Al-Ahly also mimicked his celebration in tribute during a 3-0 win over domestic rivals Ismaily in their Egyptian Premier League match in Cairo.

Saturday wasn’t the first occasion in which Salah has honoured his Egyptian compatriots on a football pitch.

In 2015, after joining Fiorentina on loan from Chelsea, he chose the No.74 shirt to commemorate the 74 people who were killed in the Port Said Stadium riot in February 2012 after supporters from Al-Masry attacked fans of Al-Ahly.

Salah celebration after scoring the fourth goal is not emulating any player in Europe, actually he is supporting his fellow Egyptian international and Ahly player Moamen Zakaria, as he didn’t play for a year and a half now cause of illness.

Also during his time at Fiorentina, Salah wore a black armband bearing the logo of Cairo-based team Zamalek in a game after 20 people died following a stampede inside the 30 June stadium caused by police firing tear gas at supporters.

Jurgen Klopp was filmed mouthing “wow” at the end of his team’s thrilling win over Marcelo Bielsa’s impressive Leeds side following an exhilarating game in which the attackers on both sides out-performed the defenders.

The Liverpool boss was full of praise for Salah’s contribution after the winger collected his third Premier League match ball, going as far as to say that it was one of his best performances in a Liverpool shirt.

“First and foremost, congratulations to him because he’s a very special player,” he said. “A very, very special player. The numbers tell the story a little bit, all the rest around you probably don’t know.

“Today is a very good example. Yes, he put three more goals on his score list but the performance around was absolutely exceptional in a game like this. So he deserved the goals today, 100 per cent.

“Yes, two were penalties – one was a sensational finish – but he deserved these goals because he was constantly pressing and present, caused the opponent massive problems, was top in one-on-one situations, played football.

“Of all the good performances Mo had for us obviously, this was for sure one of the better ones.”

Klopp will be hoping for a repeat performance from his talisman for next weekend’s clash with free-spending Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

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