Mohamed Salah has matured “enormously” at Liverpool, according to goalkeeper Alisson.
The Brazil international shot-stopper, who won the Yashin Award for being the game’s outstanding goalkeeper in 2019, was once a team-mate of the Egypt international star at Roma but has said that the found the player he has discovered on Merseyside is a completely different one.
Indeed, Salah’s numbers have exploded since he moved to England in 2017, where he has developed into one of the game’s most potent attacking weapons, notably helping the Reds to Champions League success over Tottenham at the end of last season.
“The ‘Mo’ that I found at Liverpool was completely different to the one that I met for the first time at Roma,” he told France Football. “I did not speak very good English, and he spoke Italian badly. We had a good relationship, but it was limited because of language. When I arrived here, he was the first person that I got close to.
“In Italy, he already had the quality and potential that we all know of, but he did not have the self-belief that he has discovered here. It has all changed. He has grown up enormously, taken on another dimension and this club has a lot to do with it.”
Alisson expanded upon that point by hailing the city as one in which there is a unique culture of everyone willing the club to do better. And he says that it rubs off on the players.
“You don’t realise it from the outside but, when you arrive in a club, when you live in this city, you discover that everyone aspires for you to do better,” he said.
“Not only the staff, your coaches, but the entire environment, the media, the fans, everyone who loves this club make it so that it doesn’t resemble any other club in the world. It gives you enormous confidence and strength.”
Salah placed five in the Ballon d’Or voting for 2019 behind Cristiano Ronaldo, team-mates Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk, as well as six-time winner Lionel Messi.