GQ Middle East has revealed Liverpool and Egypt star Mohamed Salah as the subject of its later cover, featuring an exclusive interview and photo shoot, his first ever for GQ.
Celebrating Salah’s journey to the status of a cultural icon, the interview examines how the 26-year old footballer came from humble beginnings in Egypt to learn his trade in Europe and becoming one of the world’s most well-known football stars in the rocess.
Photographed in Manchester by Buzz White and styled by Olivia Harding, the shoot sees Salah wearing brands including Cartier, Burberry, Off-White, Prada, Stone Island, Dunhill, Y-3 and Ermeneglido Zegna.
Among the topics he discusses in the feature is how he felt after being awarded his first contract.
“In that period, I decided that I must become a professional footballer,” he said. “It was an opportunity I wasn’t going to waste. That was one of my first big decisions: don’t let this slip from your hands.”
He also spoke about how his father was key to his success.
“I would complain that I didn’t want to travel [the four hours] to training. But he stood by me and told me that all great players go through this,” he recalled. “The price for him was very high, and I’ll never forget the role he played in my career.”
On becoming a Liverpool icon, Salah said “it makes me want to work harder and to continue performing.”
“Because after that if your standards drop, people will not accept it. It’s a great feeling, but I don’t see it as more pressure,” he added.
Additionally, Salah offers his advice for other young footballers hoping to follow in his path.
“For me, nothing was going to come easily… nothing good ever does. I went through every possible stage a footballer could go through. Moving from an Arab country to Europe, you feel the difference in everything from the standard of living to food, to communication. You don’t know what to do,” he said. “After that you become organised because you want to reach your goals. If you don’t try then you will always stay at home. I’m not belittling that at all, if that’s what you want, then that’s okay too.”
The shoot and interview is also accompanied by a behind the scenes video.
“Mo Salah is one of the most remarkable athletes on the planet right now,” said Adam Baidawi, Editor-in-Chief of GQ Middle East. “We couldn’t be more proud to be publishing his very first GQ cover.”
The shoot, cover story and exclusive video are all live on GQMiddleEast.com.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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