Those closest to Mohamed Salah know the three things that are most important to him are faith, family and football. Mo and his wife, Magi Salah, got married in 2013 in his hometown of Nagrig, Egypt. The couple has a daughter named Makka who stole the show when her father won the 2018 Premier League Golden Boot.
Mo may be one of the top players in England, but his heart belongs to Egypt. Not only does he represent his country, but Mo is known for his continuous efforts to give back to the region.
“Everyone is looking at you; you have to score,” Mo told Sports Illustrated. “They celebrate even before you shoot. But I know that no one else can take it. When you play for your home country, it’s a different feeling. I’m not saying that you don’t feel something when you play for Liverpool—you can see I do. But to take your own country to the World Cup, the feeling is different.”
Learn more about Mo’s wife and family.
1. Mo Married His Wife, Magi, on December 17, 2013 in Nagrig, Egypt
Mo’s wife, Magi, prefers to keep a low profile, but made a rare exception when Mo was awarded the 2018 Premier League Golden Boot. Magi and their daughter, Makka, came onto the field to celebrate the big day. According to the Daily Star, the couple got married on December 17, 2013 in his hometown of Nagrig, Egpyt. There were thousands of people in attendance at the celebration.
The Daily Star reported Mo and Magi met as teens while they were attending the same school in Basion Gharbia. Magi works as a biotechnologist. The couple is very passionate about their Muslim faith, and Magi wore her hijab onto the pitch when Mo was honored as the Premier League’s leading goal scorer.
2. The Couple Named Their Daughter, Makka, After the Holy City
Mo’s daughter, Makka, stole the show when her father won the Golden Boot. Makka came onto the field, and began kicking the soccer ball all over the pitch to the delight of the crowd. The Mirror detailed the heartwarming moment.
But despite all this it seems Salah’s young daughter Makka managed to do exactly that, and upstaged her father in front of the Anfield crowd following the final game of the season. Upon the final whistle being sounded on Sunday, the youngster ran onto the Anfield pitch to greet her dad, who received the Golden Boot in a quick presentation. But after greeting him she spotted a ball and set about having a little kick-about by herself, much to the delight of those inside the stadium.
3. Mo Donated $450,000 to Ensure His Hometown of Nagrig Had Access to Clean Water
According to Middle East Eye, Mo donated $450,000 to help people in his hometown of Nagrig, Egypt have access to clean water. The money was used to buy land for a sewage treatment to help purify the water. This is just one of several charitable efforts Mo is involved in when it comes to giving back to Egypt. He also donated $282,000 for a program called Long Live Egypt that focuses on the financial development within the country. While Mo loves to give back, a local Nagrig teacher Abu Habsah explains the soccer player rarely takes credit for all he does.
“Mohamed doesn’t like to speak about the charitable work he has done or the money he donates,” Abu explained to Middle East Eye. “He doesn’t like the spotlight and he doesn’t make a fuss wherever he goes. I saw Mohamed yesterday at a funeral and I asked him how he was and he just thanked God.”
4. Mo Convinced His Father, Ghaly, Not to Press Charges on a Man Who Broke Into His Car
According to The Sun, a security guard took £30,000 (about $40,000) out of his father’s car. At first, his father, Ghaly, wanted to press charges, but Mo convinced his dad not to do it. Instead, the soccer star gave the man about $1,340, and tried to help him find a job. The Daily Mail detailed Mo’s kind gesture.
While Salah was playing in Alexandria, his family were robbed. The thief was caught a couple of days later and it was the intention of Salah’s father to press charges.
When his son heard what happened, however, he asked him to drop the case. What happened next gives you the biggest insight of all into his character, as Salah gave the thief some money to get his life up and running and tried to help him find a job.
Salah wants everyone to have a chance to better themselves and that it is why the Egyptian is uniting a nation.
‘He is doing an extraordinary job,’ [Egypt’s assistant manager] Mahmoud Fayez says. ‘The secret of his brilliance? It is his modesty.
‘He is a superstar but he lives as a simple person. He uses his abilities to serve his country and you can see what it means to him when he sings the national anthem.
‘He fights every second, every moment, every sprint, every tackle, every shot. He fights. This is Salah. This is why he is the hero of every Egyptian.’
5. Mo’s Dad Talked His Son Out of Quitting Soccer When He Was 14 & Playing on the Arab Contractors’ U-15 team
Mo may be one of the top soccer players in the world, but it was not always the case. The Liverpool star was close to walking away from the game as a teenager when he was not playing. He credits his father for encouraging him to stick with the game. According to Sports Illustrated, Mo took a regular eight hour (roundtrip) ride from Nagrig to Cairo to play on the Arab Contractors U-15 team. When the playing time became sparse, his father talked him out of quitting the sport. Sports Illustrated detailed the exchange.
“The moment that changed my life?” Salah tees it up. “I was on the bench for two months. I told my father I can’t go four hours every day and be on the bench. I was crying. He said, ‘Listen, everyone who became a big name after a long time, he suffered a lot [first]. It’s not going to be easy. Just keep focused, train hard and I’m sure you will play again and be great.’ That’s a moment that I still remember, in his car at six in the morning. After a short period I started playing again, and everything has worked out.” (Asked whether he has ever shared the importance of that conversation with his father, Salah pauses and shakes his head. “No,” he says finally. “No, I haven’t.”)