Basel coaches thought Mohamed Salah had a twin brother after his awful first training session

Mohamed Salah is living his best life right now.

The Egyptian is playing at the peak of his powers, adding two goals to his collection in Liverpool’s 3-1 win against Arsenal on Saturday.

Salah has developed into a world-class player at Anfield, the honours pouring in since his move to Merseyside in 2017.

Among them include the PFA Players’ Player of the Year for 2017-18 and the Premier League Golden Boot in each of the last two seasons.

But Salah hasn’t always found it so easy.

He struggled at Chelsea, playing just 19 times for the Blues before leaving for Serie A.

It was at Basel where Salah first captured the attention of Europe’s biggest clubs, spending two seasons in Switzerland before joining Chelsea in an £11 million deal in 2014.

But Salah had to overcome a difficult start to life at Basel, where the coaches initially had doubts about him.

Indeed, they wondered whether it was Salah’s twin brother who had turned up for his first training session.

Basel’s then-manager Heiko Vogel said in an interview with Goal and SPOX: “Gegge (Heitz, the club’s sporting director) and I told him: ‘Listen, just train as you like – we’ve already made our decision anyway’.

Then he trained on the first day; everyone watched the session and we wondered if he might have a twin brother!

“The second day was a bit better, but not good. Gegge and I had already been talking him up for the tiniest things, saying stuff like: ‘did you see that pass?’.”

Come the third day, however, Salah’s ability began to emerge.

“And then came the third day,” Vogel continued. “It was then that he destroyed everything, he was really unstoppable.

“[The first two days] he wasn’t nervous. He was confident, but immersed in a new world. He had to acclimate himself in the truest sense of the word. He came to us from hot north Africa.

“It’s always difficult when you get into an environment where you do not really understand the language.

“[But] I have rarely seen such a dominant appearance in two-on-five [on that third day]. It was absolutely extraordinary.

“He was so agile, so explosive. If he had the ball on his left foot, it was a goal. But Momo always had an eye for his team-mates as well. 

“After that performance everyone knew why we wanted to sign him.”

Salah has overcome some difficult moments in his career to become one of the best players in the world.

That sort of talent just can’t be kept down for too long.

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