If any footballers are looking for inventive goal celebrations, their children might just be the best source of inspiration if the example set by Mohamed Salah is anything to go by.
On June 1, 2019, the Egypt international scored for the Merseyside club from the penalty spot in the second minute, with Divock Origi doubling the lead late on to wrap up the club’s sixth European Cup success with a 2-0 win.
After being mobbed by the rest of his teammates in celebration, Salah looked down the barrel of one of the many cameras in the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium for his own, special celebration.
He twisted his fingers in front of his face before placing one on each side of his nose while sticking his tongue out.
And with the one-year anniversary of that special night in Madrid approaching, Salah sat alongside his eldest daughter, Makka, for an online interview with a group of children and revealed the unique celebration was her idea.
When asked by one of the girls what his favorite celebration is, Salah turned to Makka and asked her, “Do you know how we celebrated in the final? When I scored the goal?” In response, the five-year-old reproduced Salah’s celebration perfectly.
“You’ll find this in the final of the Champions League where Makka told me before the match to make this move/sign if I scored, so that’s why I did it,” the 27-year-old said.
‘I’m happy the girls in Egypt started to take their right to play football’
Salah says his daughter “loves to play football.”
He added that Makka “hasn’t been to any clubs” yet, but as a long-term advocate for women’s rights in the Middle East, it’s something he would embrace.
In 2019, speaking to CNN’s Becky Anderson, Salah said: “The woman has to get her right in the Middle East.
“First of all, we have to accept that there is a problem. I know it’s very difficult to accept that. But 100% the problem is running deep and deep and deep.
“And the second thing, my opinion is the woman has a right to talk about anything she doesn’t like. I’m talking about myself; I want when my daughter has a problem, she has to feel like support from me to come to talk to me about the problem. The most important thing is the fear.
“The woman, the wife, fear from her husband, from her father, which that’s the main point, I think. The fear is not healthy for anyone … We have to fix that.”
And after being asked by a girl in the online interview for his tips to becoming a good player, the Liverpool forward offered encouragement to girls everywhere.
“There isn’t anything specific I would be able to tell you that will make you a good player, but if you have a dream that you want to make true, just stay confident that you’re going to make it true — that’s the thing that will push you forward.
“So if you want to grow up and become a football player, it’s going to be hard and in some communities it might be a little complicated for people to accept a girl to play football, but as long as you have a dream you want to make true, just hold on to it and work on it and I’m sure you’re going to make it.
“I’m just happy that the girls in Egypt started to take their right to play football. Every one of you has a dream; keep holding onto it and stay confident that you’ll make it.”