Who would have thought that football superstar Mohamed Salah used to idolize a Ghana Premier League striker in his youth?
In the year 2009, Eric Bekoe was unplayable. They called him ‘Hurricane Bekoe’ for a reason, and it was because he swept the Ghana Premier League with his poaching instinct.
Having won goal king at Asante Kotoko with 17 league goals in 23 games, he left for Egyptian side Petrojet. There his prolific streak would continue.
As Bekoe tells Nhyira FM in Kumasi, he was so good that a young Salah looked up to him for inspiration.
“I was a big player in Egypt. Mohamed Salah and other young Egyptian players wanted to be like me. Oh yeah!”
“…..Mohammed Salah of Liverpool picked me as his role model. During my days at FC Petrojet, Salah was a young boy playing for the youth side of Al Mokawloon, who trained with Petrojet.”
“Salah was a left-winger who wanted to score more goals because he is clinical upfront. He sometimes cried because his efforts on wings didn’t result in goals.”
Then 18, Salah was finding his feet and developing a style, with the then consistent Bekoe scoring regularly in the Egyptian top flight. The Ghanaian would leave the country after netting an impressive 65 goals in 80 games.
Predictably, Ghanaian social media reaction was mixed, with some calling Bekoe a liar. But others also believe the 33 year old.
As for Salah, he would leave Egypt to chase a dream in Europe with Swiss side FC Basel, England’s Chelsea, Italy’s Fiorentina, and then, Liverpool.
Suffice to say, Bekoe didn’t do too badly as an inspiration.
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Today’s front pages: Tuesday, May 18, 2021
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