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This ain’t it, chief.
Egyptian-born footballer Mohamed Salah, who currently plays for Liverpool, is one of the fastest rising stars of the sport. Now considered to be the fourth most expensive player in the world, the 26-year-old forward cemented his status as a legend by scoring the most goals for a single player in the Premier League’s 38-game season.
In other words, Salah is really, really good.
So to commemorate his contributions to the field, Egyptian artist Mai Abdallah sculpted a bronze statue of Salah which was put on display over the weekend at the World Youth Forum in Sharm al-Sheikh, which she explained was a “symbol of excellence” for Egypt’s youth.
The statue was meant to portray Salah’s outstretched arms that he’s known for after scoring a goal, but instead, it came out like this.
This Mo Salah statue is certainly something… 😂🙈 pic.twitter.com/DPE0k9iBlg
— Mo Salah Facts (@MoSalahFacts) November 4, 2018
It certainly is an, uh, interesting take on the football star, however, many people began pointing out on Twitter that the statue looks less like Salah, and more like an assortment of character in pop culture, from The Simpsons’ Todd Flanders to “Marv” from Home Alone.
Why does the Mo Salah statue look like Todd Flanders?!😂😂 pic.twitter.com/rGgGnrSzk1
— LFC❤️ (@MursAndSalah) November 5, 2018
Mo Salah's statue resembles the thief from home alone 1😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/B2LDosZDSV
— Mr. Ben 🤹♂️ (@lilformula) November 5, 2018
That new statue of Mo Salah looks familiar pic.twitter.com/W84D1nMZIk
— Jamés (@utdsupreme) November 4, 2018
looks like Leo Sayer pic.twitter.com/OoECwZK7aA
— Cöl (@Colette_AFC) November 4, 2018
What is it with footballers and statues?
— OverTheBar (@OverTheBarFB) November 5, 2018
— Z❣️ (@zadddylonglegs) November 4, 2018
— kiefer hoverhand (@fivedollardare) November 5, 2018
Others made comparisons to that super awkward bust of Cristiano Ronaldo that went viral last year:
Salah just got his own statue…
Remember Ronaldo’s too? 😂 pic.twitter.com/oYVPxF8rJA
— Matt Craig (@MattHDGamer) November 5, 2018
Which statue is worse? 🤔
RT 🔄- Salah
Like ❤️- Ronaldo pic.twitter.com/EXT7cFPogU
— ShotOnGoal (@shotongoal247) November 5, 2018
Emanuel Jorge da Silva Santos, the sculptor of the Ronaldo bust, was left devastated by the online criticism. “I didn’t feel like speaking to anyone,” he said at the time. “Managing all of that was very hard.” He was later given another shot at the bust, which thankfully was better received by the court of public opinion.
But for her part, Mai Abdallah is defending her creation. In a Facebook post on Monday, she addressed the statue’s criticisms and admitted that while the finished product did come out differently than the mold, she was pleased with it anyway.
“I hope people learn the art of criticism politely and respect,” she wrote (via Facebook’s translation), brushing aside the negative comments.
Stacey Ritzen is a reporter and editor based in West Philadelphia with over 10 years' experience covering pop culture, web culture, entertainment, and news. You can follow her on Twitter @staceyritzen.