Liverpool's Mohamed Salah says Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane was favourite player growing up

David Cooper 15/05/2018
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Liverpool star Mohamed Salah and his Premier League Golden Boot

Mohamed Salah has been strongly linked with a move away from Liverpool in the summer after his stunning debut campaign with the Reds.

Chief among the teams rumoured to be interested is Spanish powerhouses Real Madrid who of course will take on the Premier League side in May 26th’s Champions League final in Kiev.

The tie, though, will not only bring together European royalty, but also pit Salah against the side he’s been linked to as well as one of his heroes growing up.

In an extensive exclusive interview with Eyptian TV channel ON Ent, Salah, who has plundered 43 goals in all competitions for Jurgen Klopp’s men this season, revealed his favourite players growing up.

“(Zinedine) Zidane, Ronaldo (de Lima) and (Francesco) Totti are the ones I loved most when I was young,” he said.

“I’m lucky and so happy that I played with Totti and had a good relationship with him.

“Those are the players who I loved since I was young, but I didn’t see (Diego) Maradona and Pele.”

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Liverpool star beats teammate Mohamed Salah to Premier League Signing of the Season

Tom Biggs 15/05/2018
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Andrew Robertson celebrates with Mohamed Salah.

With the Premier League campaign now over, it’s time to hand out our end of season awards, starting with our Signing of the Season.

It would have been very easy to hand this award to Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian was signed for just over €40 million, and may well be worth nearer to €150 million now, but Liverpool’s signing of Andrew Robertson has proved equally as successful.

A huge problem area for the last decade, the Reds’ last quality left-back was John Arne Riise. Alberto Moreno’s inability to defend meant Jurgen Klopp moved to sign Robertson for just €9 million from relegated Hull City.

Liverpool’s biggest rivals for the left-back last summer were Burnley. The Scottish defender took time to adjust to life at Anfield, but once he was given the opportunity to showcase his quality on a regular basis, he never looked back.

Manchester City spent over €100 million to sign Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy in the same transfer window, suggesting quality full-backs don’t come cheap, but Robertson, under the guidance of Klopp, has proved otherwise.

At just 24, Liverpool have got themselves a top-quality left-back for many years to come.

Worthy mentions

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Mohamed Salah was a revelation for Liverpool in his debut season at Anfield.

Mohamed Salah was a revelation for Liverpool in his debut season at Anfield.

The Egyptian of course deserves a mention. At just €40 million, Liverpool ended up getting themselves a bargain. If they were to sell Salah now, his value would have at least tripled. A record-breaking season helped Liverpool secure themselves of a place in the top four, all while securing a spot in the Champions League final. Salah’s incredible 32-goal haul from a wide position was simply outstanding – and Liverpool will be delighted to have got him for the price they did from Roma.

Ederson (Manchester City)

Ederson proved to be a superb signing for Man City

Ederson proved to be a superb signing for Man City

Pep Guardiola knew exactly what type of goalkeeper he wanted. Despite paying a world record fee for a goalkeeper to sign Ederson, City certainly got their money’s worth. The Brazilian was exceptional throughout the season, making a host of impressive saves that helped City to a record-breaking campaign. His range of passing and confidence on the ball were both vital to the way Guardiola wanted his side to play.

Jack Cork (Burnley)

A signing from Swansea, Jack Cork was influential for Burnley.

A signing from Swansea, Jack Cork was influential for Burnley

Swansea City were relegated while Burnley secured a European spot. While the problems for the Swans were much more than just the departure of Cork, it’s no coincidence that they struggled and his new club flourished. Cork’s tireless work rate was vital to Sean Dyche throughout the season, allowing the Clarets boss to play with two strikers rather than an extra midfield man. Cork was the only midfielder to play every minute of the 2017/18 campaign.

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Watch: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp's strategy for Champions League final against Real Madrid

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Having sealed a 4-0 win in their last game of the Premier League season – against Brighton – Liverpool now have their eyes set on the Champions League final.

With the fixture set for May 26, Jurgen Klopp believes The Reds have enough time to prepare to face defending champions Real Madrid.

The German manager believes his players do need some rest so that they can bring out their best when the day comes.

Find out what he had to say about the preparations.

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