Artist defends Mo Salah statue in face of ridicule on social media

The piece was on display at the World Youth Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh on Sunday and depicts the Liverpool striker pulling off his trademark celebration - arms spread out wide at his sides.

Egyptian football star Mo Salah recently got an unusual tribute in his home country that has left people around the world in stitches.

The pictures soon went viral, with numerous people commenting that the statue bore closer resemblances to other famous faces, including Art Garfunkel, Leo Sayer, burglar Marv from Home Alone and even Beavis and Butthead.

But her effort was widely mocked on social media and was unfavourably compared with the infamous Cristiano Ronaldo bust which was ridiculed previous year.

Salah has not publicly commented on the statue.

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Salah enjoyed a record-breaking debut season with Liverpool scoring 32 goals to set a new record in a single campaign.

Emanuel Jorge da Silva Santos, who sculpted the Ronaldo bust, said he had been sad about the online criticism of his effort after its unveiling.

Sculptor Mai Abdel Allah told Egyptian media that she created the statue because Salah stood as a symbol of excellence for Egyptian youth, describing the artwork as "distinguished and executable".

The 26-year-old signed a new five-year deal at the club earlier this year, and has had previous spells at clubs including Chelsea and Roma.

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