Team-mate defends Man Utd youngster after claims he mocked Liverpool star’s goal celebration

Liverpool star Mo Salah Credit: Alamy
Liverpool star Mo Salah Credit: Alamy

Manchester United youngster Hannibal caused a stir over the international break by appearing to mock Mo Salah’s goal celebration during a friendly.

Hannibal, who has been linked with a loan move away from Man Utd, copied the Liverpool forward’s famous goal celebration after Tunisia scored late on to beat Egypt 3-1 in an international friendly on Tuesday night.

A Aïssa Laïdouni strike and a Hamdi Fathi own goal gave Tunisia a 2-0 lead in Cairo before Omar Kamal pulled one back for the home side.

But Hamza Rafia wrapped up the match deep into injury time for Tunisia leading Man Utd midfielder Hannibal joining Rafia in mimicking Salah’s yoga pose celebration.

A fuss was made of it in the media with Salah still on the pitch but FC Copenhagen’s Mohamed Elias Achouri has rubbished claims that Hannibal led the celebrations.

Elias Achouri told Tipsbladet: “You have to know that it wasn’t Hannibal who started it. It was Hamza Rafia who scored the goal.

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“He did that cheering scene, but because Hannibal did the same thing, people think he did it because he plays for Manchester United and has something going on with Salah for that reason. But it wasn’t quite like that, as it was Rafia who did it, and he plays in Serie A. He doesn’t care a bit about Liverpool.”

Elias Achouri insists the Tunisian players have nothing against Salah and that the whole incident was blown out of proportion, perhaps due to the Man Utd versus Liverpool rivalry.

He added: “I don’t think it was anything special against Mohamed Salah. It may be the media that drives it up. They sometimes want something to write about, so maybe they have used it.

Former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch reckons it “might work for both parties” if Salah leaves Anfield next summer after strong speculation that he could leave for Saudi Arabia.

Crouch told TNT Sports: “I think even the most staunch Liverpool and Salah supporter will understand if he does another year (then leaves).

“This is something that’s going to rumble on. I don’t think it’s something that’s just going to go away. They’ve proven, the teams in the Saudi League, that if they want someone, they invariably get them.

“I think with Salah, it’s something that will rumble on this season. I think he will be totally dedicated to Liverpool’s cause, but I think it might work for both parties really if they get a big fee for him (next year). And for Salah, obviously it’s the financial gain of playing in Saudi Arabia.”


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