Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster has summed up Mohamed Salah‘s elite mindset with some fascinating insight into their post-match conversation earlier this month.
Salah is in the form of his life currently, with no other player on the planet dominating and deciding matches like him.
The 29-year-old has been world class almost from the moment he joined Liverpool in 2017, but his current level is arguably as high as any Reds player in history.
Salah has scored an astonishing 15 goals in just 12 appearances this season, also notching five assists to take his tally to 20 goal involvements.
It means he has worked his way into Liverpool’s top 10 of all-time goalscorers, and he should only rise further up that prestigious list.
On Sunday, the Egyptian became the first-ever player to score a hat-trick away to Man United in the Premier League – Brazilian legend Ronaldo was the last man to do it in any competition, back in 2003 – as Jurgen Klopp‘s side sealed an iconic 5-0 victory.
Salah is untouchable at present and someone who has summed up what makes him so special is Foster, who felt his wrath in Watford‘s 5-0 loss at Vicarage Road on October 16.
Speaking on his entertaining YouTube channel, ‘Ben Foster – The Cycling GK’, the former England international gave a glimpse into how the mind of Salah works.
Foster explained that instead of simply revelling in a win and a stunning solo effort, the Liverpool man instead quizzed his opponent about which way he would have dived if he’d taken a penalty against him:
“The bit I want to talk about in particular is the bit about Mo Salah. About what he said to me at full-time that made me think, ‘oh my gosh you are so professional, so driven, you want to be the best you can possibly be’.
“So they have just won the game 5-0, Mo Salah I think scored one goal in that game. But he came up to me at full-time.
“He has got his hand over his mouth a little bit because he did not want the cameras really to catch it so much.
“But he has come up and he’s gone: ‘Ben, Ben’. I have gone like ‘OK, yeah? You alright?’, and he has gone, ‘if I’d have got a penalty which way would you have dived?’.
“Now as soon as he said that, I thought, oh you clever, clever boy. Because we do our research, all the goalkeepers out there do their research on strikers, and we will try and find out where their last four, five, 10 penalties might have gone.
“And Mo Salah‘s last five penalties he put to the goalkeeper’s right. So I have looked at him and I have gone, ‘I’d have gone to my right. I’d have dived to my right because you put your last five penalties to the right’.
“And a big smile came up on his face, a big grin, and he went, ‘yeah, thank you. I need to know, I need to know’.
“So not content with just winning the game 5-0, scoring a goal and being Man of the Match, and scoring an unbelievable goal, he has to know the tiny little details about his next game. If he gets that penalty, which way should he put it?
“And that for me is…that is why Mo Salah is at the top guys. He is the top.”
It is an unbelievable example of the ruthlessness that Salah possesses in his character and what makes him one of the true global icons of the current game.
Away from the smiles, team ethic and humility, the attacker has ice in his veins, hellbent on smashing individual records and winning trophies with Liverpool.
He is a perfectionist who looks for any kind of weakness in the opposition – intriguingly, he still went to Jan Oblak’s right when he scored the penalty at Atletico Madrid three days after his conversation with Foster.
Salah has gone up another gear this season, and if the Reds are to fire on all fronts, they need their star man to retain this outrageous run of form.
Sort that new contract out, FSG.