As the 2018 World Cup kicks off in Russia, we speak to the man set to star centre stage
It’s great to win individual awards
They’re always a compliment – and I credit my teammates – but it’s the trophies that you win as a team that really matter.
I didn’t think the accent would be so hard to understand
But I love Liverpool. It’s very proud and has lots of character and history. There’s always so much passion in the stadium.
I’ve been eating at this place a lot since I arrived at Liverpool
It’s called Bakchich. I’ve got to know the owners and they’re great people. My favourite dish is hummus falafel – you have to try it.
The World Cup is always an amazing spectacle
Do you remember what Ronaldo was like in 2002? He was just scoring for fun. It was a joy to watch him and the Brazilian team that won it – they were just beautiful.
I had lots of favourite players
When I was a kid growing up I would play football in the streets and pretend to be Zidane, Totti and Ronaldo from that great Brazil side.
What was I thinking about when I took the penalty for Egypt? [Salah’s 94th minute penalty against Congo meant they’d qualified for the World Cup]
All I was thinking about was scoring and winning the game – at that time nothing else mattered. Once the game was over I realised what it meant to the people of Egypt, of course.
Success at the World Cup is all about focus
As with any World Cup group, the big thing is to make sure you progress out of it. Once you have done that you can really start to dream of what might be.
What would I like to be remembered for?
I’d like to be successful on the pitch and to win trophies, but it’s also important for me to act in the right way. When you know so many people are watching, you want to be seen as a man with integrity.