Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has surpassed Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo to become Europe’s top scorer in all competitions.
The Egyptian winger picked up two goals against his former club Roma in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final on Tuesday at Liverpool’s Anfield stadium.
Liverpool won the match 5-2 and are well placed to reach their first Champions League final in 11 years.
The team manager Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for Salah, describing the forward as “outstanding” and a “genius”.
Salah’s contribution to the win, which also included two assists, took his overall goal tally to 43 goals, compared to Ronaldo’s 42 and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi’s 40.
Ronaldo will have a shot at equalling or surpassing Salah’s tally during Real Madrid’s semi-final match against Germany’s Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
The feat comes just days after Salah was voted the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Player of the Year, one of English football’s top individual honours.
Salah has also equalled the record for the most goals scored in a 38-game English Premier League season with 31 goals in that competition.
The 25-year-old moved from Roma to Liverpool for just over $50m last summer and has since established himself as one of Europe’s most prolific strikers.
His exploits on the pitch and clean humble image off it have earned him footballing superstardom in his first season at the club.
Salah refused to celebrate his goals against Roma out of respect for his former club.
Earlier this month stories emerged of a younger Salah convincing his father not to pursue charges against a man who had been caught trying to rob their home in the village of Nagrig in the Nile Delta.
The striker is also known for his philanthropy and has helped build hospitals and schools in his native Egypt.