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Mo Salah calls and thanks young sculptor of widely ridiculed statue

CAIRO: Mai Abdullah, the Egyptian sculptor behind Mohamed Salah’s widely ridiculed statue, has revealed that the Egyptian footballer called her from England to thank her for her effort.

Earlier this week, Abdullah faced widespread criticism for creating a bronze statue of the Liverpool striker that bore a poor resemblance to him.

Abdullah said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that Salah had phoned her to thank her, and had praised several of her artworks that appear on her social media account.

The player also told her not to pay attention to negative comments, and offered her encouragement by saying that she “will become a great artist one day.”

Abdullah said that Salah has asked her to “take her time and create a new sculpture of himself, one that he can keep at home.”

The statue, intended to pay homage to the Egyptian hero, depicted Salah with a disproportionately large head and small arms, triggering a wave of negative comments among the player’s fans.

Abdullah, 24, had responded earlier to the criticism via her Facebook page and said the statue was not meant to be unveiled at the World Youth Forum in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Adding that she did not have the time to finish it the way she had wanted to.

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