Football

Salah: My goal rush is far from over

Mohamed Salah predicts there will be no let-up in his strike rate after netting his 30th goal for Liverpool in a prolific season.

The 25-year-old reached the landmark in just 36 games in all competitions, becoming only the 13th Liverpool player to bag 30 goals in a season and the first to do so since Uruguay striker Luis Suarez four years ago.

"It is a great feeling to have scored 30 goals in a first season at a club like Liverpool," he told the club's website while attending Liverpool's training camp in Spain.

"It's something huge, so I am very happy about it - but I have to carry on and keep looking forward to score many more goals.

"I feel good and that's the most important thing - and 100 per cent, there is still more to come."

He has reached the 30-goal mark quicker than any other Liverpool player since George Allan 121 years ago and he has more than two months left to add to this season's tally before heading off to Russia for the World Cup with Egypt.

Few expected such a prolific strike rate when Salah joined in a £36.9-million (S$66.7 million) deal from AS Roma last year.

But he is already being compared with the club's most celebrated goalscorers and, with 22 EPL goals from 26 games, is second only to Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane in Europe's top five leagues this season.

But, while Kane is an out-and-out striker, Salah is a winger, who has also created chances, particularly for Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in what has become one of Europe's deadliest strike forces.

Last Wednesday's 5-0 win over Porto established Liverpool as the Champions League's top scorers this season with 28. With such a first-leg advantage, they are seemingly certain of a place in the quarter-finals.

Although Salah was upstaged by three-goal Mane on the night, he said he is constantly working on improving his game.

"In my mind, I am always trying to improve and I'm doing it every single day. Every day, I look at myself and try to improve myself all the time," he said.

Such has been Liverpool fans' admiration of him that some travelling Reds supporters sang about converting to Islam in the streets of Porto.

They struck up a new chant to the tune of '90s hit Good Enough by Dodgy with the line: "If he scores another few, then I'll be Muslim too!"

"This is the first time I've seen such an exuberant, overt, positive appreciation that includes religion," Piara Powar, executive director of Football Against Racism in Europe told the Washington Post.

The African Player of the Year is a devout Muslim and often celebrates his goals by kneeling in prayer.

Liverpool's next game is against West Ham at Anfield on Feb 24. - REUTERS, AFP

Football