Mo Salah names his 3 biggest influences as a footballer – including 1 surprise

Mohamed Salah was asked to name his three biggest influences as a footballer growing up, with one of his answers a surprise name he later called a team-mate.

Ask almost every player breaking through now and their footballing inspiration will be either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

For those on Merseyside, Steven Gerrard is the default answer, while many often cite Ronaldinho as a major influence.

As a 31-year-old, Salah can still consider Messi and Ronaldo contemporaries, with there a strong case to argue that he has outperformed both many times in recent years.

His influences go further back, then, as the Egyptian revealed in a Q&A with Sky Sports’ Saturday Social ahead of the 1-1 draw with Man City.

“I loved Ronaldo, Zidane and Totti,” he said when asked which players he modelled his game on.

“Their game was different than the others and I just looked [up to] them.

“[Ronaldo] was just doing his own stuff, Zidane is Zidane, Totti is Totti, so these three are always in my mind.”

Put to him that all three players were quite different, Salah replied: “Zidane and Totti are, I think, a little bit similar.

“Ronaldo just did what he wanted in a game, basically, but I think Zidane and Totti are similar, like No. 8, No. 10, kind of.”

“I watched them all the time, their game was just about enjoying the football, just playing what they have in mind. They don’t care that much, so that’s why you see the magic.”

ST. LOUIS, USA - Monday, August 1, 2016: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson in action against AS Roma's captain Francesco Totti during a pre-season friendly game on day twelve of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Busch Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane are benchmarks for every player of Salah’s generation, like with Messi and Ronaldo today, but Francesco Totti is perhaps a surprise inclusion.

A one-club man, Totti made his debut for AS Roma when Salah was a one-year-old in 1993, but they eventually became team-mates 22 years later.

They played together 29 times while together in Rome, with the young forward teeing up his legendary strike partner for two goals.

It will have been a dream come true for Salah, though whether he plays like any of Ronaldo, Zidane or Totti is up for debate!