One of the most talked about footballer in the world right now is Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah. But did you know he has a look-alike who plays professional football too? Yes, we are not faking it and his name is Hussein Ali. Ali, who comes from Iraqi capital Baghdad, plays football for Iraq’s most decorated club Al-Zawraa and has become hugely popular in the country after Mohamed Salah’s incredible season with the Reds.
Ali has started wearing the Liverpool shirt he bought for $40 and is often stopped and approached for photographs by football fans who mistake him for the Egyptian star. Ali said:
“The day before yesterday I was in a mall; the security guards, the shop workers and the clients, everyone wanted to take a photo with me… even the girls!”
He grabs a lot of attention just like Salah in his own football matches. He added:
“When I played against the Lebanese club Al-Ahed, people were taking photos with me for an hour and a half.”
Ali enjoyed Liverpool’s Champions League final against real Madrid with some supporters in the city centre and some supporters even went to see him thinking it was Ali who got injured when Salah was ruled out of the match in the first half.
“When Mohamed Salah was injured, there were some who came to see me as if it was mewho was suffering.
“In my neighbourhood, over a number of days, people who passed me would say ‘Get well soon'”
Ali is amazed with the fact that he looks so similar to Salah and it has prompted him to rethink his career. He now wants to burst into the big stage just like Salah, who made his own way from his Nile Delta village into the heart of international football.
“We play in the same position and I do everything to imitate and copy his movements”
The Iraqi player also wants to follow Salah’s footsteps off the pitch, which has provoked English fans to adopt an “I’ll be Muslim too” chant in praise of the footballer.
“He reads the Koran and he asks God to help him before his matches. I also read the Koran and pray, like Abu Makka”
While all Egyptians will be hoping that Salah makes it to the World cup, Ali hopes that he one day manages to come face to face with his idol.
“My life’s dream is to meet Mohamed Salah… Perhaps he will invite me to the World Cup in Russia?”
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