Salah’s Statue raises dust in Egypt

Salah with golden boot

A sculpture of Liverpool and Egypt football star Mohamed Salah unveiled in his home country is raising eyebrows on social media.

The artwork was put on display on Sunday at the World Youth Forum (WYF) being held in Sharm al-Sheikh.

It depicts the striker with his arms out wide in the goalscoring celebration he is known for.

But people have suggested it looks more like singer Leo Sayer or Marv the burglar from the film Home Alone.

The sculpture of Salah joins a long list of other sculptures in the football world that have left fans scratching their heads about likeness.

It has drawn comparisons to a bust of Cristiano Ronaldo which was widely mocked after it was unveiled at Madeira airport last year.

Emanuel Jorge da Silva Santos, who sculpted the bust, spoke of his sadness about the online criticism of his effort afterwards. He was later given a second chance at it by website The Bleacher Report.

The youth forum, where the statue of Salah was unveiled, was attended by thousands, including Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

The event, which is in its second year, was created by young people in Egypt to help promote peace and prosperity.

Sculptor Mai Abdallah told Egyptian media that she created the statue because Salah stood as a symbol of excellence for Egyptian youth, describing the artwork as “distinguished and executable”.

In a Facebook post, she addressed the criticism and said the brass statue came out looking differently to the original mould.

“I hope people learn the art of criticism politely and respect,” she added.

Salah scored 32 goals in just 36 appearances in his debut year at Liverpool last season, breaking records and garnering widespread praise.

The 26-year-old signed a new five-year deal at the club earlier this year, and has had previous spells at clubs including Chelsea and Roma.

Born in Nagrig in northern Egypt, Salah enjoys widespread popularity in his home country.

He was their lead goal scorer in World Cup qualifying, which helped them reach the 2018 competition for the first time since 1990.

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