Portrait 02 August 2023, 12:58

World Cup, idol, brother… Nine things to know about Mohammed Salisu

World Cup, idol, brother… Nine things to know about Mohammed Salisu
The second recruit of the summer for AS Monaco, the Ghanaian international central defender, who arrived in the Principality from Southampton, has several unique qualities. Here are a few things you need to know about him.

He is the second arrival for the Club this summer, after July saw Philipp Köhn sign. A renowned Premier League centre-back, Mohammed Salisu joined the club Tuesday, becoming Monégasque until June 2028. So before you can witness his debut in Rouge et Blanc, here’s all you need to know about the 24-year-old Ghanaian international…

The second Ghanian to play for AS Monaco 🇬🇭

One thing is certain, the 24-year-old left-footed defender will not be the first representative of the Black Stars to defend the colors of the Principality Club. Before him, there was Alex Nyarko, the former defensive midfielder loaned by Everton in 2001-2002, has already played on the ptitch of the Stade Louis-II. There’s also Eric Ayiah, the striker trained at the Academy, who has only played with the first team in a friendly match,  in February 2022 against Brentford’s reserves.

He’s formidable in his duels 💪

A defender with an imposing physique, Mohammed is very efficient in the air, whether defensively or offensively. According to stats compiled by @datascout_, he contests on average over 90 minutes more than 7 defensive duels per game, including 5 in the air. “An excellent tackler and also good at reading the game,” as confirmed by ChatGPT, the Ghanaian makes nearly nine interceptions per game. Solid !

He’s faced Lionel Messi… and CR7! ⚔

Having come through at Valladolid in Spain, he is also a product  of African Talent in Ghana, and the athletic defender has already taken on the best during his three-year stint in La Liga. He thus crossed paths with Lionel Messi against Barça in October 2019. He came on during a match when his team was down 4-1, and unfortunately he could not prevent La Pulga from scoring another goal at the end of the game. match. The same was true against Cristiano Ronaldo, who guided Portugal to success against Ghana (3-2).

Playing my first match with the national team against Brazil was really difficult. But I was really happy to make my debut.
Mohammed SalisuAbout his first international cap

He played (and scored) in the 2022 World Cup 🏆

Called up for the first time with the Black Stars last September, Mohammed played his first match with Ghana in a friendly… against Brazil! It was a preparation match for the World Cup, for which he would be called up by coach Otto Ado. Despite a win against South Korea, thanks in particular to a goal scored by a certain number 4, the “Brazilians of Africa” were eliminated in the group stage, finishing in last place in Group H,  with a defeat against the Seleçao of CR7 as well.

He’s played (several matchs) with Taki’… 🤝

They only were together for six months, but Mohammed Salisu and  Takumi Minamino played together at Southampton. On loan from Liverpool in January 2021, the Japanese attacking midfielder accumulated 10 appearances with the Saints, including scoring two goals. The two players will now find themselves in another red and white jersey from now on.

…and with a young talent trained at the Academy… 🇲🇨

On the other hand, the Ghanaian defender rubbed shoulders with a midfielder who spent much longer at La Diagonale. This is Ibrahima Diallo, Abdou’s younger brother. Both joined the club from the south of England at the same time, in the summer of 2020, before leaving there together as well, three years later, three years during which they will have played a key role in the defensive sector of SFC.

He also has a little brother… who plays in the same position! 👥

“My little brother is currently in Ghana in the same academy where I was trained. He is also left-footed and plays in the same position as me, in central defense,” confided last year Mohammed in a video interview granted to the media at Saints. This “brother story” which inevitably brings to mind his national teammate, Iñaki Williams, who had recently chosen to play for Ghana, while his little brother Nico, a winger like him, is a Spanish international!

A meeting with his childhood idol 🇧🇷

Having the chance to one day cross paths with your childhood idol is not given to everyone. The native of Kumasi would have that opportunity, however. He was indeed able to meet with Ronaldo Il Fenomeno. It’s a meeting he still remembers, as he recently confided. “I loved the Brazilian Ronaldo! I watched a lot of videos of him when I was younger. He was a fantastic player who carried his team all the time,” he recalled.

His talents on the dance floor 🕺

On the lighter side, Mohammed Salisu is visibly very comfortable in expressing himself with his body language. In any case, this is what he showed his new teammates in the national team, during his initiaition with Ghana, on the eve of facing Brazil. Note the precision of his “sway.”