Alan Hubbard ©insidethegames

Internationally renowned sports stars from Egypt are a bit thin on the ground, give or take the odd squash player or émigrés like Jaroslav Drobny, the exiled Czech who took temporary political refuge under the African nation's flag and won Wimbledon back in 1954.

But hang on a Mo, so to speak. The record-breaking Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah is firmly on course to become the best known figure produced in the land of the pharaohs since Tutankhamen. And certainly the most worshipped since Cleopatra.

Salah's golden boot has finally put Egypt on the sporting map and now the player is the Merseyside club's favourite adopted son, a flamboyant forward whose spectacular goals and unselfish assists have been crucial into propelling his team into the Champions League final against Real Madrid in Kiev on Saturday week (May 26).

Kopites are devoted to their "Egyptian king" - one chant includes the line "if he scores another few, I'll be Muslim too".

On Sunday (May 13), devout Muslim Salah was feted on the Anfield pitch after the final Premier League match against Brighton. There was the golden boot for the top scorer and the club's player of the year trophy too. The Egyptian was clearly moved, and he shared the moment with his wife and young daughter.

Salah has also won two other major individual prizes - the Professional Footballers Association Player of the Year and Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year awards.

It was his record goal that set the Reds on course to blowing Brighton away. The opener, a low finish from Dominic Solanke's pass, was his 32nd goal of the campaign - the most by a player in a 38-game Premier League season.

What a remarkable season it has been for 25-year-old Salah, who signed from Roma for £34 million ($46 million/€39 million) last summer.

Some doubted his ability to perform in England following his disappointing spell at Chelsea, but the goal that broke the Premier League record was his 44th in 51 games for Liverpool in all competitions this season and for a player to eclipse marks held by Liverpool icons of the calibre of Billy Liddell, Roger Hunt, Robbie Fowler, Kenny Dalglish, John Aldridge and Luis Suarez is testimony to his breathtaking prowess in front of goal. 

Only Ian Rush, with 47 in 1983-1984, stands between him and the club's all-time record.

Mo Salah of Liverpool has hoovered up plaudits this season ©Getty Images
Mo Salah of Liverpool has hoovered up plaudits this season ©Getty Images

Alan Shearer scored 31 Premier League goals for Blackburn in 1995-1996, Cristiano Ronaldo did the same for Manchester United in 2007-2008 and Suarez netted 31 for Liverpool in 2013-2014.

Shearer, for Blackburn in 1994-1995, and Andy Cole, for Newcastle United in 1993-1994, jointly hold the Premier League scoring record for a 42-match season - with 34 goals.

Okay, so he hardly got a kick in the second leg of Liverpool's Champions League away semi-final against Roma - largely because his former team-mates seemed intent on kicking him rather than the ball - but it was his brilliance that put the Merseysiders into that deciding game in the first place.

The way Salah played in that first leg was mesmerising. The Roma defence could not get anywhere near him.

He contributed two stunning goals and two perfectly-placed assists. The Mail on Sunday columnist Oliver Holt described his performance as "out of this world".

Salah has scored against 17 different opponents in the league this season; a Premier League record.

There are certainly no shortage of superlatives about the 25-year-old, from the rural village of Nagrib in the Nile delta who is now being bracketed in the same breath as Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Ronaldo.

He has scored in 34 different club games in all competitions this season, at least four more than any other player in Europe's big five leagues.

But with the Champions League final against Real - winners of the past two tournaments - to come, the biggest piece of silverware is still to be settled, and with it the bragging rights between Salah and Ronaldo as the greatest modern striker.

Now in the UK when the name Mo is mentioned in pubs and clubs it is not necessarily that of Sir Mo Farah that springs first to the lips. There is a new guy named Mo who is capturing the hearts and minds of sporting cognoscenti.

Receiving his Football Writers award Salah said: "From the day I left Chelsea I wanted to prove everyone wrong. They said I wasn't good enough. I've proved them wrong."

And how.

"He is simply fantastic," said the Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp after then Brighton game. 

"He not only makes goals for others but he can score them himself from virtually any angle.

"The last few weeks were especially difficult. You can imagine what it is like if every day  someone says how brilliant you are. They give you an award for this, an award for that.

"I thought he was going to get an award for getting out of his car. It is really difficult to stay focussed but he has played this season outstandingly.

"It is fantastic what he has done He is young enough and has the potential to improve. That is the really good news."

Or maybe the really bad news for Real.

An Egyptian peddlar poses with Mo Salah merchandise in Cairo ©Getty Images
An Egyptian peddlar poses with Mo Salah merchandise in Cairo ©Getty Images

According to The Guardian, in Egypt, where football is now very much the premier sport, his progress has been watched and charted for some years. His face is everywhere. Every coffee shop has a Salah poster.

Murals featuring him alongside other icons of Egyptian culture, such as singer Umm Kulthum and novelist Naguib Mahfouz, have appeared around the capital Cairo.

He beams out from billboards, selling everything from chocolate bars to soft drinks, mobile-phone tariffs and bank accounts.

Such is the power of the Mo Salah brand, that when he lent his name to a Government-sponsored anti-drugs campaign, they reported a 400 per cent increase in calls to their hotline.

Beaten finalists in the last Africa Cup of Nations, it was Egypt's match against Congo in October that marked the beginning of Salah's status as a national icon.

His penalty, four minutes into injury time, secured the team a place in its first FIFA World Cup in 28 years after being the first African nation to qualify in 1934.

Egypt has not had much to savour on the international sporting celeb scene apart from a fleeting appearance by boxer Chris Eubank against a non-enity in Cairo in 1996.

But it is Salah who can now claim to be Simply The Best.

Egypt is renowned for its Mummies. But in Mo Salah they may now have the Daddy of them all.