Can Real Madrid stop Mo Salah?
With nine days to go until the Champions League final in Kiev, thoughts are turning to the individual match-ups between Real Madrid and Liverpool.
One issue for Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is how on earth he can possibly stop Mo Salah.
The Egyptian King won all the individual awards in England as Salah produced a record breaking first season at Liverpool.
Ultimately, no side in England or in the Champions League so far, could stop Mo Salah from cutting in on the right hand side to finish with his left foot in devastating fashion, besides Manchester United.
Marcelo vs Mohamed Salah
Zinedine Zidane can at least count on one of the best full backs in the world to deal with Salah, in Marcelo.
But, the Brazilian prefers to attack, often with deadly consequences, but might not be so well equipped to deal with Salah’s pace, directness and finishing ability with his left foot.
To add intrigue to this match-up, Salah and Marcelo have met before on the field of play, in direct competition.
Marcelo is “terrified” of Mo Salah
Former Egypt player, Mohamed Aboutrika was captain of his national team at the 2012 Olympics in London.
According to Aboutrika, who spoke to beIN Sports MENA (via the Liverpool Echo), Marcelo is “terrified” of Salah.
Aboutrika: “I witnessed on that pitch what Salah can do to Marcelo during the Olympic Games. I was playing with Egypt against Brazil. Marcelo is terrified of Salah. I noticed the same thing in the Champions League when Roma played against Real.”
Salah made a real impact on Marcelo first time around
In that Olympics game, Salah came on as a substitute at half-time, with Brazil 3-0 up.
Both Aboutrika and Salah notched in the second half.
Marcelo has also met Salah when Roma played Real Madrid in the 2015/2016 Champions League quarter finals.
Perhaps, due to this information, Zinedine Zidane will play a more defensive player in front of Marcelo to help him out against Salah?
Or, perhaps Real Madrid’s best chance of stopping Salah is simply by depriving him of the ball and controlling the midfield?