Mohamed Salah’s impact at Liverpool has been extraordinary.
The Egyptian has played a major part in the club’s transformation into one of the best sides in Europe.
And this season Salah has proved that he’s more than just a one-season wonder.
Salah made it back-to-back Premier League Golden Boots as Liverpool came close to winning the title.
The 26-year-old also scored the opener in the Reds’ 2-0 win over Tottenham in the Champions League final.
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Not only is Salah a brilliant footballer, but he’s also a class act off the pitch, too.
During the club’s pre-season tour of the United States last summer, Salah paid a visit to a young supporter who was battling muscular dystrophy.
Hate crimes reduced in Liverpool
He also brought a young fan to tears after gifting him his shirt following Liverpool’s 3-0 win against Southampton last September.
And according to a new study, Salah’s success has also helped reduce Islamophobia across Merseyside.
Stanford University’s Immigration Policy Lab has found a dramatic fall in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes and anti-Muslim tweets since Salah’s arrival from Roma in June 2017.
There has been a 18.9% reduction in hate crimes across the city.
No other type of crime had a comparable effect, suggesting the fall in anti-Muslim hate crime was a genuine trend.
Research into Liverpool fans’ tweets also found that the level of Islamophobic tweets had decreased from 7.2% to 3.4%, a drop of exactly 50%.
3.4% is relative to fans of other top flight clubs.
So, what can we take from this?
Salah’s visibility as a Muslim - he performs sujood, the Islamic act of prostration, when he scores - has possibly helped reduce prejudice towards Muslims.
“The survey experiment suggests that these results may be driven by increased familiarity with Islam,” the report said.
“These findings suggest that positive exposure to outgroup celebrities can reveal new and humanising information about the group at large, reducing prejudiced attitudes and behaviours.”
Salah’s persona also helps to change how many feel towards Muslims, the researchers claim.
“Salah is often seen joking with his teammates with a signature grin, entertaining his young daughter on the sidelines, and respecting his opponents almost to a fault, for instance, by refusing to celebrate goals against his former clubs," said the report.
Salah is making things better. On and off the pitch.News Now - Sport News