• News

Drogba explains why Salah was destined to become a superstar

Didier Drogba, Mohamed Salah
Getty Images

The Ivory Coast legend spoke about Mohamed Salah’s early days at Chelsea and how the Egyptian was always going to be a superstar.

Didier Drogba has singled out Mohamed Salah’s intelligence as the reason behind his success.

The Egypt international had a slow start to his Premier League career upon joining Chelsea in 2014. In a star-studded team that had the likes of Drogba, opportunities were rare. In fact, in their one season together in London, the pair played alongside each other on just four occasions.

Moves to Roma and Liverpool, however, have propelled Salah to stardom. The forward is now rated as one of the world’s best players, having recently surpassed Drogba as Africa’s record Premier League goalscorer.

This season alone at Liverpool has seen Salah score 16 goals in all competitions, including 11 in the English league.

Intelligence key to Salah’s rise

But, in an interview with his former Marseille teammate and Egypt striker Mido, Drogba revealed he always believed Salah would scale to greater heights even when it didn’t seem so.

“If he continues, he’s going to destroy all my records! I want to cry,” Drogba jokingly said on Mehwar TV.

“What I’ve seen during training, and all his teammates will tell you, the quality was there. He just needed time on the pitch to show his talent and his quality.

“When you look at the squad we had at the time, it was not easy to play, but what really got me attached to Mo is that he’s really nice, he’s really polite, even when he was not playing. He was sad not to contribute, but he was always good. When you have this kind of intelligence, it’s just a matter of time before you blow up.”

Drogba added: “I remember we spoke a few times when he was at Roma and he was scoring goals and then he had a moment when he was not scoring and he asked me how to deal with this kind of situation.

“I shared with him a lot of examples and experience and how it happened to me and all the strikers.”