Why Is Salah So Good? (Statistics & Facts Explain)

Mohamed Salah is one of the best and most famous soccer players at the moment. With his unique style of play, the Egyptian superstar is a danger to any opponent. But why is Salah so good?

Mohamed Salah is so good because of his speed, excellent dribbling, passing, superb shooting, and impressive body strength. These traits allow him to put up impressive statistics, making him one of the best players in the Premier League.

As every soccer fan knows, Salah is among the best attackers in the world. In this article, you'll find out which playing traits he masters best and what makes him so good.

What Makes Salah so Good?

With two UEFA Champions League trophies, one Premier League trophy, as well as an FA Cup, and an EFL Cup to his name, Mohamed Salah is considered to be one of the best soccer players in the world.

The Egyptian forward has one of the best goal-scoring records in the Premier League, having won the golden boot award on three different occasions.

Salah also features in the top 20 all-time Premier League top goal scorers with 120 goals scored in the league.

But what is it that makes Salah so good? Is it an all-natural ability, or did he train in a specific way to get so good? And is Salah the best in the world right now?

Below I will explain the main traits why Salah is so good.

Shooting:

Although Salah doesn't play the position of a classic striker, he still has one of the best goal-scoring records in the world.

Salah predominantly plays as a right-winger. He then uses his incredible agility to dance into the penalty area before unleashing one of his trademark pinpoint strikes on goal.

Salah's goal-scoring record is one of the best the Premier League and the Champions League have ever seen.

Salah's best goal-scoring period came in the 2017/18 season. During this time, Salah scored 32 goals in 34 Premier League appearances.

This meant Salah was only two goals away from matching the all-time most goals scored in a single Premier League season.

Below is the complete list of players to score 30 or more goals in a Premier League season:

PlayerGoalsSeasonClub
Alan Shearer341994/95Blackburn Rovers
Andy Cole341993/94Newcastle United
Mohamed Salah322017/18Liverpool
Cristiano Ronaldo312007/08Manchester United
Luis Suarez312013/14Liverpool
Alan Shearer311995/96Blackburn Rovers
Alan Shearer311993/94Blackburn Rovers
Harry Kane302017/18Tottenham Hotspurs
Robin van Persie302011/12Arsenal
Thierry Henry302003/04Arsenal
Kalvin Phillips301999/00Sunderland

As you can see, Salah is one of the greatest goal scorers ever in the Premier League. 

Even more impressive is that Andy Cole and Alan Shearer achieved their records when the Premier League was 42 games long. If you were only to include 38 games (as it is today), Salah tops the list!

So now we know that Salah's incredible scoring record is a major part of what makes him so good, but how is he so good at scoring?

Agility (dribbling):

It's well known that Salah has lots of power and accuracy in his shooting. But one of the main reasons he gets so many goals is due to his agility and dribbling skills.

It's thanks to Salah's unmatched dribbling and movement that he can get himself in many advantageous positions to score for his team.

When watching Salah, you'll often see confused-looking defenders not knowing how to handle him and even falling over as they lose balance trying to track him.

Salah does this by quickly changing direction when dribbling the ball, therefore making space for himself in tight areas.

Using a quick burst of acceleration to turn or simply cutting the ball back is a trick that's worked for Salah repeatedly.

Throughout Salah's entire playing career for both club and country, he has an average of 1.7 successful dribbles per game.

Note that when we say successful dribble, this means a run with the ball where the attacker actually takes the ball past a defender while retaining possession.

To put this into context, let's compare his dribble stats to some of the world's best players.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo has an identical record to Salah with the same 1.7 successful dribbles per game.
  • Kylian Mbappé just about edges Salah with 2.5 successful dribbles per game.
  • Lionel Messi leaves them all in the dust with an impressive 4.5 successful dribbles per game.

Although 1.7 is still a very good return, you may be wondering why it isn't higher for one of the best dribblers in the world?

There are many reasons for this. One reason is that Salah didn't become one of the world's best players until later in his career.

He was 25 years old when he moved to Liverpool and began to impress fans around the world. Compare that to a player like Mbappé, who has been hitting high numbers since he was 18.

Another reason could be that Salah has faced some of the best defenders while playing in the Premier League, a league that many consider the best in the world.

There's also an argument to be made that Salah picks his moments before making that killer dribble. He will often only take on a defender if he sees an opportunity to score or assist a teammate.

Speed (pace):

For Salah to be able to trick defenders with his quick turns, he needs pace. Luckily, Salah is one of the fastest players in the world.

Salah's highest top speed is 22.74 mph (36.59 km/h), measured in the 2021/22 Premier League season. His highest speed with the ball is 21.7 mph (34.93km/h), which was recorded in 2018. In 2022, Salah has an average speed of 19.95 mph (32.11 km/h).

This speed is fast enough to make Salah one of the top 10 fastest soccer players in the world.

Player:Top Speed:
1. Kylian Mbappé23.6 mph (38 km/h)
Adama Traore23.6 mph (38k m/h)
2. Kyle Walker23.49 mph (37.8 km/h)
3. Aaron Wan Bissaka23.35 mph (37.6 km/h)
4. Ainsley Maitland-Niles23.26 mph (37.44 km/h)
5. Fred23.16 mph (37.3 km/h)
6. Phil Foden23.06 mph (37.1 km/h)
7. Gareth Bale22.92 mph (36.9 km/h)
8. Antonio Rudiger22.8 mph (36.69 km/h)
9. Mohamed Salah22.74 mph (36.59 km/h)
10. Alphonso Davies22.7 mph (36.5 km/h)

Strength:

Salah undoubtedly has the speed, but what about the strength? Well, the two come hand in hand.

When asked why he is so fast, Salah has spoken about spending lots of time in the gym to work on his leg strength.

Salah believes that having a lot of strength in his legs helps his explosivity and acceleration, which he believes helps him win soccer matches.

Salah once said the following about how important he believes acceleration can be:

"It's not a small thing, it's a big thing in soccer right now. To have those first three or four meters be very fast can really help you finish a game."

Even during Ramadan, Salah doesn't let his fitness regime slow down at all. The player has spoken about being awake at 3 am to eat and hit the gym after fasting during daylight hours.

Salah's strict diet plan also helps him stay strong.

Being a strict Muslim has also helped Salah when it comes to what he eats on a daily basis. For a start, he doesn't drink any alcohol at all.

When speaking to CNN about his diet, he spoke about how important nutrition is and how it helps with both strength and recovery.

Salah's average daily food intake often looks something like this:

  • Morning:
    A puffy flatbread called parathas, usually washed down with a glass of milk. Sometimes Salah will also have fruit.
  • Lunch:
    This is where Salah usually loads up on calories by eating bread, chicken, lentils, vegetables, and yogurt.
  • Dinner:
    He then goes for a light dinner with either soup or salad along with sugar-free fruit juice.

The result of such a strict fitness plan is a much stronger version of Salah than we saw in his earlier years. 

If you were to look at Salah during his early years at Chelsea, you would probably notice how much slimmer he looks compared to his time at Liverpool.

Passing:

Because of Salah's performance in front of goal, it's often forgotten just how good he is at passing the ball to his teammates.

Salah has totaled 84 assists over his career for club and country. He also makes 29 passes per game on average, as well as making 1.7 key passes per game.

In fact, there's an argument to be made that Salah is getting better at passing with age.

In the most recent 2021/22 season, Salah topped the Premier League table for most assists in that season.

Top assists in the 2021/22 Premier League season:

PlayerAssistsClub
Mohamed Salah13Liverpool
Trent Alexander-Arnold12Liverpool
Harvey Barnes10Leicester City
Jarrod Bowen10West Ham United
Mason Mount10Chelsea
Andrew Robertson10Liverpool
Reece James9Chelsea
Harry Kane9Tottenham Hotspurs
Paul Pogba9Manchester United

This meant Salah was both top scorer (joint) and top for assists in the 2021/22 Premier League season.

Is Salah One of The Best Players in The World?

So now you know what makes Salah so good. Let's find out whether he is the best player in the world.

In 387 appearances for both club and country, Salah has a total of 202 goals. He also has 84 assists with an average of 1.7 successful dribbles per game and a top speed of 22.74 mph (36.59 km/h).

When comparing these stats to the world's best players, Salah doesn't actually top any of the lists.

Cristiano Ronaldo has averaged more goals over his career, and Lionel Messi has averaged more successful dribbles than Salah. Kylian Mbappé is also a lot faster, while Kevin De Bruyne has Salah beat when it comes to assists.

So strictly going off stats and figures, it's reasonable to argue that Salah is not the best soccer player in the world.

However, deciding who is the best is entirely subjective, and many will still argue that Salah could still be seen as the world's best.

One reason you could argue for Salah being the best is how much of an all-round athlete he is.

While many of the players mentioned above might be the fastest or the best in front of goal, Salah is great at everything.

Once again, it's worth noting that Salah didn't break through as an elite player until much later than some of his peers. It's frightening to think how great Salah could have been if his potential had been realized earlier in his career.

Conclusion

In summary, Salah's incredible agility and eye for goal make him one of the best soccer players in the world.

A strict diet and fitness regime have helped turn Salah into a much stronger and faster player than he used to be.

Although he may not be the outright best player in the world, he's still in the discussion. And one can't help but wonder just how great he would have been if he'd hit greatness at an earlier age.

James Miller

Soccer has been my passion since I was a kid. After my own career, I became a coach, something I have been doing for 15 years now. Sharing my knowledge about soccer is what I love most. So I hope you can appreciate my articles.
Published: 
July 1, 2022
Published: July 1, 2022