Mohamed Salah | is a global superstar.
The Egyptian is one of the most recognizable figures in football. A hero not only in his native land, but throughout the continent of Africa.
With 52 million followers on Instagram, Salah is a household name.
But it took a while for the attacker to establish his status.
After starting his professional career in Egypt with Al Mokawloon Al Arab, it would always be difficult for Salah to enter the global market at a young age.
But it was the summer of 2012 that changed Salah’s career.
He left Egypt for FC Basel in Switzerland, where he would attract the attention of major European clubs thanks to his appearances in the Europa League and Champions League.
At the same time he signed for Basel in 2012, at the age of 19, he represented his country at the London Olympics.
Salah arrived at the tournament as a relatively unknown quantity.
But his performance in a group match against Brazil certainly made him stand out.
Salah started on the bench at the Millennium Stadium against an incredibly strong Brazilian side that included Marcelo, Thiago Silva, Oscar, Hulk and Neymar.
It is not surprising that Brazil took a 3-0 lead in the first half against Egypt.
But after Salah was introduced at halftime, the game changed direction.
It was Salah who won a free kick, giving Egypt a goal back. After causing constant problems for the Brazilian defense, Salah made it 3-2 with a stunning finish from outside the box.
He was unable to make an incredible comeback when Egypt lost 3-2, but his performance certainly made people sit up and take note of this 19-year-old sensation.
Egypt would go through their group along with Brazil for a quarter-final defeat.
One man who certainly knew Salah’s name at the end of that group stage match was Marcelo.
The legendary left-back was 24 at the time, but just couldn’t contain Salah as he was skinned over and over.
And now, 10 years later, a compilation video of Salah’s highlights in those 45 minutes is being shared on social media.
It’s not a great watch for Marcelo, who had an extremely difficult half of football, but it’s fascinating for the rest of us.
VIDEO: Salah skins Marcelo multiple times at the 2012 Olympics
Mohamed Salah vs Brazil (2012)
A 19-year-old Mohamed Salah starred against some of the world’s best players at the London Olympics🤩
— Salah Central (@SalahCentral) July 16, 2022
Of course, Marcelo and Salah would meet many more times on even bigger stages than the Olympics.
One such clash took place in the 2018 Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Kiev.
And ahead of the final, Egpyt’s captaincy during the 2012 Olympics predicted that Salah would beat Marcelo, as he did six years earlier.
“I witnessed on that pitch what Salah can do to Marcelo during the Olympics,” Mohamed Aboutrika told beIN Sports MENA, per Liverpool Echo.
“I played with Egypt against Brazil. Marcelo is terrified of Salah.”
Aboutrika’s prediction didn’t quite go according to plan, as Salah was eliminated early after Sergio Ramos’ hard tackle.
But if Marcelo is ‘terrified’ of Salah, he is certainly not the only defender in world football to be.
Salah has used the 2012 Olympics and the move to Basel as a springboard to become one of the very best players in world football.
While his performances at Liverpool in recent years have elevated his status in world football, it seems he has always had incredible talent, as showed 10 years ago against one of the best left-backs ever.
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