Egyptian Muslim superstar Mohamed Salah has been named one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time magazine, The BBC reported.
“People always have big expectations from you,” Salah said in his interview. “You see the kids, they’re wearing your shirt and they say they wish they could be like you one day.
“So they put you under pressure a bit, but that is something that makes you proud about what you have reached until now.”
Salah was included on the list alongside Pakistan Prime Minister and former cricketer Imran Khan, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, singers Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga, US President Donald Trump, and former US first lady Michelle Obama.
They are split into pioneers, artists, leaders, icons, and titans, with Salah named in the latter category.
“Mo Salah is a better human being than he is a football player,” English comedian and HBO’s Last Week Tonight host John Oliver, a lifelong Liverpool fan, wrote in his TIME’s dedication to the player.
“And he’s one of the best football players in the world.
“Mo is an iconic figure for Egyptians, Scousers and Muslims the world over, and yet he always comes across as a humble, thoughtful, funny man who isn’t taking any of this too seriously.”
The practicing Muslim striker also used his interview to discuss women’s equality.
“We need to change the way we treat women in our culture,” he told Time.
“That has to be, it’s not optional.”
He added: “I support the woman more than I did before, because I feel like she deserves more than what they give her now at the moment.”
Legacy of Success
Salah is arguably one of the biggest Muslim sports stars in the world at present.
Hailing from a Muslim-majority country, Salah is a devout Muslim who often prostrates to God on the field after scoring goals – a trend in sports that Egyptian players have started since 2006 during the African Cup of Nations in Egypt- hence nicknamed the ‘Prostrating Pharaohs’.
Salah’s record-breaking exploits for Liverpool have earned him millions of adoring fans.
Salah scored 44 goals in 52 appearances in all competitions last season while helping Liverpool surge through the Champions League knockout stages while securing a fourth-place EPL finish.
A recent report by Football Against Racism in Europe (Fare) found that the success of Liverpool Muslim star Mohamed Salah has significantly decreased hate and race crimes in the English Premier League.