‘I have spoken to him a lot’ – Liverpool legend sets Mohamed Salah challenge as Cristiano Ronaldo comparison made

 

Mohamed Salah has been challenged to break Liverpool’s all-time scoring record by the man who set it, Ian Rush.

And the iconic former Reds striker believes Salah has both the quality and durability to play on until he surpasses the tally of 346 he registered during two decorated spells at Anfield.

After months of intense speculation, Salah signed a new deal while on holiday in Greece on Friday to become the highest paid player of all time at Liverpool on terms that will run until 2025.

Rush, who has become a close friend of Salah’s during his five years at Anfield, says he has regularly tried to persuade the No.11 to commit his future to the club over the past 12 months.

 

The Egypt star’s haul of 31 goals last term saw him become the Reds’ top scorer for the fifth successive season and with 190 left to equal the record set by Rush, the Liverpool legend has laid down the gauntlet.

“It’s great holding records and all that, but I’ve always said records are there to be broken,” Rush told the ECHO. “So I’ve actually said to Mo: ‘Go and see if you can break my record now!’

“I think it is fantastic news and if he does [break the record], I’ll be the first to congratulate him, but more importantly the first thing is to become a true Liverpool legend. That means being at the club for seven to 10 years.

“It is great that something is finally sorted out and I am made up. It is something all Liverpool supporters wanted to see and now he is staying, I think it is going to be a great three years hopefully for Mo.

“I look at Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United who keeps himself super fit and Mo, who is a lot younger than him [at 30], is doing exactly that too, he is keeping himself fit and he is determined to stay at that level he is at.

 

“I don’t think his levels will drop, I think he will come back stronger than ever now he has settled [his future]. For Mohamed, my job [as a friend] was to let him know that Liverpool is the best club in the world.

“You look at everything and Manchester City can strengthen with Erling Haaland but Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling may be going. So yes, Sadio Mane is a miss but Darwin Nunez is in now and with Salah, Liverpool will be even stronger now.

“If Nunez can settle in there to replace Mane, as long as there are no injuries, Liverpool look very strong. After last season, winning two trophies – which could have been four – the expectation for Liverpool will be big and I think Jurgen knows that. So to get Nunez and to sign Salah, I think Liverpool have every right to look forward to the new season.”

Rush kept in regular contact with Salah throughout last season and was a guest of the Liverpool star and his agent, Ramy Abbas, when he won the Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year award in London back in May.

The former Wales international says he never stopped trying to convince Salah that his future was at Anfield, but claimed he was always assured by the player himself that a new contract would eventually be signed.

“I am a good friend with Ramy and Mo, and I met him many times in Dubai, France, London and Liverpool. I have kept trying to tell Ramy to convince Mo to stay! This is a special club. It’s the best club in the world.

“If you want to be a true legend, and we’ve had so many great players like Luis Suarez, Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano, but for all these great players, if you want to be a true legend, you have to be at the club for at least seven to 10 years and that is what it’s all about.

“Liverpool is special because whether you’re winning or losing, you have to show your loyalty. I have spoken to Mohamed a lot, telling him how great this club is.

“I left for Juventus and I realised the grass wasn’t always greener on the other side and I was one of the fortunate ones to get the chance to come back. When I came back I had no hesitation as I realised how special this football club is.

“At Mo’s age, if he did leave the club, there would be no coming back. So when I spoke to both Mo and Ramy, I said if they get the chance to, then sign! The fans love him and now he is here for another three years at least.

 

“I think it was just a matter of dotting the Is and crossing the Ts really. He never really wanted to leave. I spoke to him at the last home game (against Wolves in May) and he said never really wanted to leave.

“His agent is a really good friend of mine as I say, him and his wife, and it was just about managing to convince them this is the best club in the world, whether you win or lose. And it’s not always about winning, when you lose, these fans get right behind you and that is what makes this club so special.”

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