Colombian Salah prepared to be among the best in the world – 12/24/2021 – Sports

Colombian Salah prepared to be among the best in the world - 12/24/2021 - Sports

The first thing Jaime Papon noticed was that Mohamed Salah, 29, was breathing, the striker was rushing towards the area and seemed impatient before succumbing. Then he analyzed their positions in the field. Al-Masry did not find the fastest way to the goal.

Salah is one of the deadliest and most productive goalscorers in world football today and has struggled to score goals in the past. That’s when a baboon appeared. The former Colombian point guard started working with the then Roma player at the end of 2016.

The 54-year-old coach, the runner, explains, “It was easy to see that his talent was exceptional. It was a natural thing for him. But there were aspects of his game that could be improved. That’s why we worked together.” -up in Libertadores 1995 with Atlético Nacional in the final and lost to Gremio.

Baboon moved to Rome at the end of 2016 and began working with Salah on individual activities three or four times a week. I watched hours of videos of the striker in matches. He set up specific training for the aspects in which he believed there could be an improvement in the athlete’s performance.

The Colombian does not want to take credit for the growth of the Egyptian. He claims that the greatest of them all was the striker’s commitment and natural talent. But the numbers show a shift.

In the 2015/2016 season, the last before starting work with his own coach, Salah scored 15 goals in 42 matches (an average of 0.35). In 2017/2018, the first complete after Papone was at his side, there were 44 games in 52 games (0.84), already for Liverpool.

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For years, he was seen as a good African football talent, but nothing spectacular. Hired by Chelsea in 2014, it failed to pass through the UK and was loaned to Fiorentina and Roma (who later bought it).

Upon arriving in Liverpool, he exploded. He finished third in the 2018 FIFA World Cup elections and one of the 11 finalists in this season’s election. The winner will be announced on January 17th. He was also the main name for the England national team in 2020, when the club broke their 30-year fast without being a national champion.

“If I were asked to choose any player as the best on the planet, it would be Salah,” said striker Alan Shearer, the top scorer in the history of the Premier League, the modern version of the English Premier League, which began in 1992. .

Baboon and Salah cross paths thanks to Francisco Maturana, the person responsible for managing Colombia in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups. While working in Saudi Arabia, he met Salah’s manager, Remy Abbas Issa. At a dinner, the agent commented that his client has enormous potential to be exploited, but needs someone to improve it.

Maturana recommended Babone, who was his athlete for Atlético Nacional and specialized in work assigned to strikers. Salah agreed to dive into his new coach’s recommendations.

The Colombian explains: “When I was facing the goalkeeper, Salah was in a hurry. We also did breathing exercises to improve that.”

“He was quick to submit, he did not wait for the right moment. The speed with which he entered the area was the same as he did. He did not reduce that. We built the work so that he could understand the best angle to block the goalkeeper’s defence,” he adds.

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Baboon worries about explanations. He doesn’t want to give the picture that Mohamed Salah marked to score goals. It’s not about that. It just means that everyone can improve in football if they do specific activities. There is always room for improvement.

More important than seeing what he could improve was to convince him of the need. The Colombian thinks there could be an ego problem, but that never happened, he asserts.

“Salah is a boy who lives for football. I never had a problem with him. He always took everything we talked about very well. We did a detailed analysis of his position on the field, the distances he covered, the moment he finished the match. The goal .. the statistics showed the perfect position To receive passes in better conditions for scoring,” he explains.

The experience with Al-Masry made the coach start working with strikers from other teams in Colombia and South American countries. He has done similar work with Santos Puri, the 2018 Libertadores champion with River Plate and now at Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Colombian coach realized that work with Salah was done when he moved to Liverpool in 2017, and they decided to separate early the following year. In his opinion, it was the perfect club, with the best coach (Jürgen Klopp) and the perfect moment in the striker’s career.

The impression is confirmed that all the pieces fit, and it is possible that Mohamed Salah will receive the award for the best in the world next month.

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