Liverpool's Mohammad Salah during training Image Credit: Reuters

Manama: The deputy mayor of Makkah has offered a plot of land in Makkah to Egyptian football star Mohammad Salah after he won the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award for 2017-18.

The 25-year-old Liverpool forward made history by becoming the first Egyptian Player of the Year in England after he beat Kevin de Bruyne, Harry Kane, Leroy Sane, David Silva and David de Gea in the vote by fellow players.

Shortly after the results of the much-anticipated vote were announced, Fahad Al Rooqi said he was donating a plot of land to the Egyptian forward, who has so far scored 41 goals in his first year with the English team and achieved superstar status in England and across the world.

“The plot of land is his and there are several options for Captain Mohammad Salah,” Al Rooqi said in remarks carried by Saudi news site Sabq. “It all depends on the player and on the regulations. In case he is allowed to own land in Makkah, he can keep it. He can also use it to build a mosque or launch a charitable foundation. He can also sell the land and keep the money.”

Al Rooqi said he made the offer in order to support young people and motivate them to take Salah as a source of inspiration and a role model.

“The gift is a tribute to the Egyptian star known for his great morals and generous character. It is also in recognition of his merits as an ambassador of religious tolerance and ethical values and as a positive model for Muslims in Britain. We are all proud of him,” he said.

Social media users applauded the deputy mayor’s attitude, saying they appreciated his generous gesture.

Those who opposed it said Salah has been generous towards the needy and that he did not need the plot of land or money.

In Egypt and across the Arab world, Salah was celebrated as the pride of the nation, with many social media users calling him “a legend”.

“Our son is the pride of Egypt, the Arab world, the Middle East and Africa. He is the pride of all dark-haired people,” Egyptian actress Rasha Mahdi posted on her Twitter account.