Mohamed Salah trained ‘like he was Lionel Messi’ while at Chelsea but never managed to win over Jose Mourinho.
The Egyptian’s first spell in English football was ill-fated and he never managed to establish himself at Stamford Bridge.
Former teammate Filipe Luis claims it wasn’t down to a lack of trying however, as the Egyptian looked every inch the player he is right now behind close doors.
He explained to the Guardian: “It might look like we [Mourinho] fell out but I admire him. I won the league with him. But he didn’t get the best out of me, just as he didn’t with Salah.
“When he went Fiorentina, I said: ‘Why are you going, Momo? This is Chelsea.’ And he said: ‘I need to play.’ I thought: ‘This kid’s good.’
“He never went for money or to win more; he went to show he could play. In training he was like Messi. Really, like Messi. Ask anyone.”
Salah joined Fiorentina on loan in January 2015 and sealed a permanent move to Serie A the following summer with Roma, after yet another loan.
He returned to English football in 2017 and signed for Liverpool in a deal worth £37 million.
Since then, he’s helped the Reds win a Champions League as well as their first-ever Premier League title.
Meanwhile, Luis spent just a year in London before returning to Atletico Madrid.
Luis continued: “When I was on the bench for the first game of the season I knocked on Mourinho’s office door and said: ‘Why did you bring me here? Why didn’t you just leave me at Atletico?
“He said that he didn’t feel as secure defensively with me in the team as he did with [Cesar] Azpilicueta.
“He said I had to win my place. I couldn’t expect that because of my name I was going to be first choice.
“He was right. I wasn’t playing well. But I also think you have to be on the pitch to improve.
“I never regretted the move because I was at one of the biggest clubs in the world but everyone wants to play!”
Filipe Luis on Mo Salah:
“When Salah left Chelsea for Fiorentina, I said: ‘why are you going, Momo? He said: ‘I need to play.’ I thought he was so good. He never went for money, he went to show he could play. In training he was like Messi, honestly, like Messi. Ask anyone.” pic.twitter.com/cS8X1hYZaA
— Watch LFC (@Watch_LFC) October 6, 2021
On the Salah saga, Mourinho refuses to admit he didn’t get the best out of him.
He told beIN Sports: “When the club decided to sell him, it was not me. I bought him, I didn’t sell him, and my relationship with him was good, is good.
“I pushed the club to buy him. At the time, we had fantastic attacking players, [Eden] Hazard and Willian, but I told them to buy that kid.”
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