In Egypt, ahead of this year’s Ramadan, Mohamed Salah’s image has been printed on numerous traditional products ranging from pillows to cups, with the Liverpool striker being not only one of the country's most prominent stars but also a devout follower of Islam.
He openly exhibits his feelings on the field, displaying his hands to the sky in supplication, kneeling and prostrating in front of cheering audiences.
‘The Mohammed Salah lantern is the highest selling lantern this year,’ said Essam, a Cairo shopkeeper who along with other merchants is taking a bid to capitalize on Mo’s popularity.
During Ramadan, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking and engaging in sexual relations from dawn until sunset, and increase their offering of prayers.
This year’s Ramadan begins on Thursday and ends on 15 June.
This season, Salah has scored 44 goals in 51 games with Liverpool, and next week he will lead the Reds at the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid.
‘Mohamed Salah is a role model for all Egyptians at the moment,” AfricaNews quoted Omnia, an Egyptian shopper, as saying. ‘All of Egypt loves Mo’ Salah, as they call him in England.’
Since guiding Egypt’s national side to qualify for its World Cup in 28 years, Salah is viewed as a national hero in his homeland.
The Salah Mania reached its peak during the recent presidential election in Egypt, as over a million people wrote in Salah’s name on the ballot, ending as runner-up to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.