TIME names Mohamed Salah one of world’s 100 most influential in 2019

Big 5

Egyptian football player Mohamed Salah was named one of the most influential people in the world in a Time Magazine’s poll earlier this week, he was put under the category “Titans” on the Magazine’s website.

The Egypt striker, 26, a practising Muslim, was also one of the US magazine’s six cover stars.

Salah was included on the list alongside singers Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga, US President Donald Trump, Pakistan Prime Minister and former cricketer Imran Khan, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and former US first lady Michelle Obama.

This year most influential people were split into pioneers, artists, leaders, icons and titans.

When Pari Dukovic entered the studio to photograph subjects for the covers of the 2019 TIME 100 issue, he had done his research. He knew that forging a connection with each of the six honorees gracing the April 29 cover was the way to capture each subject’s essence in a portrait.

Mo Salah one of the six honorees gracing the April 29 TIME cover

English comedian and HBO’s Last Week Tonight host John Oliver, a lifelong Liverpool fan, wrote an article on Salah for the magazine.

“Mo Salah is a better human being than he is a football player,” wrote Oliver. “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.”

Salah joined Liverpool from Roma in June 2017 and scored 44 goals in his debut season at the club.

This season he has scored 19 Premier League goals for leaders Liverpool, who are chasing their first top-flight title since 1990.

“People always have big expectations from you,” he added. “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.”

The other five cover stars are musician Taylor Swift, actors Dwayne Johnson and Sandra Oh, US broadcaster Gayle King and US politician Nancy Pelosi.

Salah was one of three international sports stars named on the list, South Africa’s double 800m Olympic champion Caster Semenya and Japan’s tennis world number one Naomi Osaka the others.

American sports stars who made the list were NBA star LeBron James, new Masters champion Tiger Woods and footballer Alex Morgan.

On the other hand, Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool F.C. coach, says Mohamed Salah’s Liverpool success transcends football, breaking down religious and cultural barriers in a dangerous, global political climate.

Klopp, who embraces the ambassadorial responsibilities of being a public figure at a club of Liverpool’s stature, says Salah’s influence off the field resonates as much as his talent on it.

“He’s a role model in so many different things,” said Klopp.

“It’s really, really nice to have him, and Sadio as well. Both are Muslims and live that in a world where these things are very often discussed in a dangerous manner, where people think ‘they are all like this’ or ‘they are all like that’.

“We know that’s not true, but it is nice to have somebody around full of joy, full of love and to do what he is doing around his religion.

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