Mohamed Salah Ghaly (Arabic: مـحمـد صـلاح‎‎; born 15 June 1992) is an Egyptian professional footballer, who plays for Italian club Roma and the Egypt national team as a winger.

As well as representing the Egyptian national team since 2011, he also participated in the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 2012 Summer Olympics. He won the Swiss Super League in his first season with Basel, and was awarded the CAF Most Promising African Talent of the Year in 2012. In 2013, he was awarded the SAFP Golden Player award for being the best player in the Swiss Super League. Salah is also Muslim.

Club career

El Mokawloon

Salah played his youth football with El Mokawloon. He played his debut in their senior team in the Egyptian Premier League being substituted in on 3 May 2010 in the 1–1 away draw against El Mansoura. During the 2010–11 season Salah advanced and became a regular in the team. He scored his first goal for them on 25 December 2010 during the 1–1 away draw against El Ahly. He remained a regular for El Mokawloon, appearing in every game of the 2011–12 season. However, following the Port Said Stadium disaster, early February 2012, the Egyptian Premier League stopped and all subsequent matches were postponed. On 10 March 2012, the Egyptian Football Association announced their decision to cancel the remainder of the season.


2012–13 season

Swiss Super League club Basel had been monitoring Salah for some time, and after the Port Said Stadium disaster the club organised a friendly match with the Egypt U-23 team. This match took place on 16 March in the Stadion Rankhof, in Basel, and despite Salah only playing during the second half, he scored twice. The game ended in a 4–3 win for the Egypt U-23 team. Basel subsequently invited Salah to remain in the city for a week's training. On 10 April 2012, it was announced that Salah had signed for Basel on a four-year contract starting from 15 June 2012.

Salah scored on his unofficial debut on 23 June 2012 against Steaua Bucureşti during a friendly match, a 4–2 defeat. He made his official Basel debut in a UEFA Champions League preliminary stage match against the Norwegian club Molde on 8 August, coming on as a substitute in the 74th minute. He made his league debut on 12 August against Thun, playing the full match. He scored his first league goal a week later, the second goal in the 2–0 home win against Lausanne. Salah scored his first Europa League goal in the quarter-finals on 11 April 2013, as Basel advanced to the semi-finals by beating Tottenham Hotspur 4–1 on penalties after a 4–4 aggregate draw. In the semi-final on 2 May, Salah scored against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, although they were beaten 2–5 on aggregate. Despite late disappointment in Europe, Basel comfortably won the Swiss Super League season 2012–13 Championship title and finished runners-up in the Swiss Cup.

2013–14 season

To the start of the 2013–14 Swiss Super League season Salah was member of the Basel team that won the 2013 Uhrencup. Salah scored on his first league appearance against Aarau on 13 July 2013.

He scored his first Champions League goal a month later against Maccabi Tel Aviv on 6 August 2013 in the third qualifying round. Before the first leg on 30 July 2013, Salah did not take part in the UEFA-mandated pre-match handshakes with Maccabi players. Basel called the incident a "coincidence" and said it was not intended as a snub. Salah was on pressure from several Egyptian voices demanding from him not to travel to Israel and then criticizing his visit. On the return leg in Tel Aviv, he took part in the handshake line, but offered fist bumps rather than an open hand to Maccabi players.

He scored twice against the Bulgarian league champions PFC Ludogorets Razgrad on 21 August 2013 in the play-off round. On 18 September 2013, Salah scored the equalizer against Chelsea in the 2–1 away win during the group stage, During the return tie on 26 November at the St. Jakob-Park, Salah scored the winning goal as Basel beat Chelsea for the second time with a 1–0 home win.


2013–14 season

On 23 January 2014, Chelsea announced that a deal had been agreed with Basel to bring Salah to London for a fee reported to be in the region of £11 million. On 26 January 2014, Chelsea announced they had completed the signing of Salah, making him the first Egyptian to sign for the Stamford Bridge club. On 8 February 2014, Salah made his debut for Chelsea in the Premier League, coming on as a substitute, in the 3–0 win over Newcastle United. On 22 March 2014, Salah scored his first goal for Chelsea against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in the London Derby, coming on as a substitute for Oscar, in a match which ended a 6–0 win for the Blues. On 5 April 2014, Salah opened the scoring and later won a penalty and an assist in Chelsea's 3-0 win over Stoke City.

2014–15 season

Before the season, his future with Chelsea looked to be in a balance after reports suggested he could be forced to return to Egypt to carry out military service after his registration for an education scheme rescinded by the Egyptian Minister of Higher Education. Later, it was reported that he has been spared of military service after the meeting with the Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, the Minister of Higher Education and the Egyptian national manager Shawky Gharib. Salah changed squad numbers from 15 to 17 for the start of the 2014–15 season, with his new number having been vacated by Eden Hazard changing to number 10.

Salah's season debut came against Swansea City on 13 September 2014, playing the last eight minutes of Chelsea's 4−2 home win in place of Cesc Fàbregas. He made his first start of the season at home to Bolton Wanderers in the third round of the League Cup on 24 September, featuring in a 2–1 win.

Although Salah only made three league appearances before his loan move to Fiorentina, José Mourinho stated that he would receive a winner's medal for his contributions this season.

Loan to Fiorentina

On transfer deadline, 2 February 2015, Chelsea confirmed that Salah would play for the Italian club Fiorentina on 18-month loan until the end of the 2015–16 season, as part of a transfer deal which saw Juan Cuadrado moving in the opposite direction. Salah was given number 74. Six days after signing, he made his Fiorentina debut coming off the bench in the 65th minute as a replacement for Joaquín in a 3−2 Serie A victory against Atalanta at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Salah made his first start for Fiorentina on 14 February against Sassuolo, scoring his first goal for the club in the 30th minute. He then provided an assist to Khouma Babacar just two minutes after scoring; the match ended in a 3−1 win for Fiorentina. Twelve days after that, Salah scored his first European goal for Fiorentina, as his side advanced to the Round of 16 of the Europa League, beating Tottenham 3−1 on aggregate. Salah scored the winning goal for Fiorentina against Internazionale on 1 March, his third goal in Serie A. Four days after that, Salah scored both of Fiorentina's goals in their 2–1 win away to Juventus in the Coppa Italia semi-final first leg.

At the end of the season, Fiorentina reportedly activated an option to make the loan move permanent, although Salah refused the move. Even though, the loan agreement was for 18 months, Salah refused to return to Fiorentina and instead joined Serie A rivals AS Roma.


2015–16: Loan to Roma

On 6 August 2015, Salah joined Roma on a season-long loan for €5 million; with the option to make the deal permanent. He made his debut on 22 August, as the new season began with a 1–1 draw at Hellas Verona. In September 11 2015, ACF Fiorentina filed a complaint to FIFA with the claim that Chelsea alleging breach of contract when they allowed Salah to join Roma on loan.

On 20 September 2015, Salah scored his first goal of the season against Sassuolo to help Roma salvage a point as the match ended in a 2–2 draw. He went on to score in his following two matches, 2–1 loss against Sampdoria and 5-1 win against Carpi. On 25 October 2015, Salah returned to Artemio Franchi stadium, scoring the opener against his former Serie A side Fiorentina to help earn a fourth straight league win for Roma. In his return, Salah was also sent after picking up a second yellow in the closing minutes of the game.

At the end of the season, Salah was named Player of the Season due to his incredible first season, finishing as the club's top goalscorer with 15 goals in all competitions (14 in Serie A) and six assists.

2016–17: Permanent move to Roma

On 3 August 2016, Roma made the deal permanent for a reported €15 million.

International career

Salah made 11 appearances for the Egypt U-20 team and Egypt U-23 team, representing Egypt in both 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 2012 Summer Olympics, scoring in all three of the team's group matches in the latter tournament, helping them to the quarter-finals.

On 3 September 2011, Salah made his debut for the Egypt national football team in the 2–1 away defeat by Sierra Leone. He scored his first goal for Egypt's first team in the 3–0 win against Niger one month later. He later scored a goal in the 93rd minute in stoppage time against Guinea to give Egypt an important 3–2 away victory in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.

On 9 June 2013, Salah scored a hat-trick in a 4–2 away win against Zimbabwe as Egypt won their fourth consecutive match in the World Cup qualifiers. A week later in the following match, he scored the only goal away to Mozambique, putting Egypt into the final qualifying group. Salah later scored his sixth goal in a qualification match to the joint-top scorer among all African teams in the qualification stages.

Style of play

A tactical player, Salah is known for his blistering pace to beat opponents, flair, ball control and creation of scoring opportunities. He primarily plays as winger, though he can play just behind the striker. He has been dubbed as the "Egyptian Messi". Upon signing for Chelsea, José Mourinho said of Salah: "He's young, he's fast, he's creative, he's enthusiastic. When we analysed him he looks the kind of humble personality on the pitch, ready to work for the team." Mourinho went on to say that Salah has "similar qualities" with "talented players" that he had worked with, like Gareth Bale and Arjen Robben.

Career statistics


As of 28 August 2016.
Basel2012–13Swiss Super League295631424910
Chelsea2013–14Premier League10210112
Fiorentina (loan)2014–15Serie A1662281269
Career total1123214643916947


As of 4 June 2016.
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National teamYearAppsGoals

International goals

Egypt score listed first, score column indicates score after each Salah goal.
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
18 October 2011Cairo International Stadium, Cairo, Egypt2 Niger2–03–02012 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
227 February 2012Al-Gharafa Stadium, Doha, Qatar3 Kenya1–05–0Friendly
329 March 2012Khartoum Stadium, Khartoum, Sudan6 Uganda1–12–1Friendly
431 March 2012Khartoum Stadium, Khartoum, Sudan7 Chad1–04–0Friendly
522 May 2012Al-Merrikh Stadium, Omdurman, Sudan10 Togo2–03–0Friendly
710 June 2012Stade du 28 Septembre, Conakry, Guinea12 Guinea3–23–22014 FIFA World Cup qualification
815 June 2012Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria, Egypt13 Central African Republic2–12–32013 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
96 February 2013Vicente Calderón Stadium, Madrid, Spain18 Chile1–21–2Friendly
22 March 2013Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria, Egypt Swaziland2–010–0Unofficial friendly
109 June 2013National Sports Stadium, Harare, Zimbabwe20 Zimbabwe2–14–22014 FIFA World Cup qualification
1316 June 2013Estádio da Machava, Maputo, Mozambique21 Mozambique1–01–02014 FIFA World Cup qualification
1414 August 2013El Gouna Stadium, El Gouna, Egypt22 Uganda2–03–0Friendly
1510 September 2013El Gouna Stadium, El Gouna, Egypt23 Guinea3–24–22014 FIFA World Cup qualification
165 March 2014Tivoli-Neu, Innsbruck, Austria27 Bosnia and Herzegovina2–02–0Friendly
1730 May 2014Estadio Nacional Julio Martínez Prádanos, Santiago, Chile28 Chile1–02–3Friendly
1810 October 2014National Stadium, Gaborone, Botswana32 Botswana2–02–02015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
1915 October 2014Cairo International Stadium, Cairo, Egypt33 Botswana2–02–02015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
2019 November 2014Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet, Monastir, Tunisia35 Tunisia1–01–22015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
2114 June 2015Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria, Egypt37 Tanzania3–03–02017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
226 September 2015Stade Omnisports Idriss Mahamat Ouya, N'Djamena, Chad38 Chad3–15–12017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
2325 March 2016Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, Nigeria40 Nigeria1–11–12017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
244 June 2016National Stadium, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania42 Tanzania1–02–02017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification