It is his philanthropic efforts, including funding a new school, hospital and ambulance unit in his hometown of Nagrig, that have earned him the Laureus Sporting Inspiration award.
The award is given to those in sport who use their platform for the benefit of society, with the previous winners being the Refugee Olympic Team (2016) and NFL player J. J. Watt (2017).
“What you don’t see and what you maybe don’t know, is what kind of good person he is.
“If I tell you he’s an even better person than he is a player, then you might be able to imagine what kind of guy he is.
“Mo, to you, well-deserved, congratulations, it’s a big one, another big one for you.”
Salah used his acceptance speech to acknowledge the difficulties faced over the past year, bringing it back to sport to pay tribute to supporters, as “sports are nothing without fans.”
“Many times, football players win awards and automatically thank their fans,” he said.
“This time I will dedicate this award, not only to my fans, but to all the other sports fans around the world.
“This past year has been a very harsh reminder of the fact sports, including football, are nothing without fans.
“Everyone in the world of sport can be replaced, fans cannot.”