Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah.
(photo credit: JERUSAELM POST STAFF+ACTION IMAGES VIA REUTERS/CARL RECINE)
Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman took to Twitter Tuesday night saying he would instruct the IDF Chief of Staff to recruit Liverpool's star Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah and sign him up for permanent service.
"I'm calling the Chief of Staff right away and telling him to sign Mohamed Salah up for permanent duty," Liberman quipped after watching the striker score two goals in his team's 5-2 victory over AS Roma in the first leg of the Champions' League semi-finals.
Liberman, who is better known as a tennis enthusiast, followed up with a tweet saying "Liverpool is wonderful, but I still prefer the IDF."
Salah, 25, is no stranger to being referenced in political circles. The talented striker is so popular in his home country that he came in second place in the Egyptian presidential elections
earlier this month, despite not being on the ballot.
Soccer star Mohamed Salah runner-up for president of Egypt (Reuters)
More than a million voters crossed out the names of the two actual candidates and wrote the name of the English Premier League top scorer instead, making him the runner-up to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who gained roughly 96% of the vote, The Economist
According to the report, more people spoiled their ballots by writing in Salah's name than voted for Sisi's only challenger, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, who was widely dismissed as a dummy candidate.
Chances are, however, that Salah would decline Liberman's offer. In 2013 reports circulated that he had requested not to travel to Israel when the team he was playing for at the time, Swiss club FC Basel, matched up against local team Maccabi Tel Aviv. He also reportedly refused to shake the hands of his Israeli rivals at the end of the game.