A very unusual statue of Liverpool and Egypt football star Mohamed Salah was unveiled in his home country on Sunday and it is raising a number of eyebrows on social media. The artwork was put on display on Sunday at the World Youth Forum (WYF) that was being held in Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt.
It depicts the Liverpool forward with his arms out wide in his goal scoring celebration that we have become well accustomed to seeing from him. However, many people online have suggested it looks more like singer Leo Sayer or Marv the burglar from the 90s film Home Alone.
Although capturing the goal scoring celebration quite exquisitely, many have drawn to the fact that the statue is all out of proportion and that many of the key features, such as the nose and the ears, are simply all wrong. Of course this simply scratches the surface when it comes to criticism, with a wide selection of tweets concerning the statue available on Twitter, including many of the particularly critical variety.
The statue is particularly reminiscent of last year’s Cristiano Ronaldo sculpture that was unveiled at Madeira airport, and was similarly mocked for its unlikeness to the genuine article. When celebrating the five-time Ballon d’Or winner having an airport in Madeira named after him, fans and guests such as Portugal’s Prime Minister watched a ceremony where the airport was officially christened ‘Aeroporto Cristiano Ronaldo’. The heavy criticism that followed the Portugal striker’s statue presentation did indeed result in it being taken down and sculptor Emanuel Santos having to modify the work to reflect the Portuguese superstar more accurately.
The creator of the Salah statue Abdel Allah said she was inspired to make the statue of the ‘Egyptian King’, which was shown exclusively at the World Youth Forum in the Red Sea resort city, by Salah’s gesture of “opening his arms to the fans” after scoring goals. “I found it is distinguished and executable,” she said, according to the Egypt Independent, in reference to the sculpture.
In another interview, she remarked how she has learned to take criticism with “politeness and respect”.
Salah scored 32 goals in just 36 appearances in all competitions while in his debut year at Liverpool last season, breaking a number of records and receiving praise from far and wide. Most notably, he won the PFA player of the season last year and led Liverpool to the UEFA Champions League final.