Didier Drogba would be well advised to stock up on the tissues.
The former Ivory Coast striker joked that he ‘wants to cry’ as the unstoppable Mohamed Salah closes in on more of his records at an astonishing rate of knots.
‘If he continues, he’s going to destroy all my records!’ said Chelsea legend Drogba in conversation with Mido on Mehwar TV in Egypt.
Mohamed Salah (pictured) recently overtook Didier Drogba to claim the record of the African player with the most goals in the Premier League and now has 108 goals in total
Drogba scored 104 goals in the Premier League during his two spells with Chelsea
Salah’s hat-trick in Liverpool’s 5-0 win over Manchester United took him past Drogba’s record
It came after Liverpool’s in-form striker Salah recently became the most prolific African player in Premier League history.
Top Premier League scorers from Africa
108 – Mohamed Salah (Egypt)
104 – Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)
102 – Sadio Mane (Senegal)
97 – Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo)
95 – Yakubu (Nigeria)
68 – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)
62 – Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast)
54 – Kanu (Nigeria)
52 – Efan Ekoku (Nigeria)
51 – Wilfried Zaha (Ivory Coast)
43 – Shola Ameobi (Nigeria), Demba Ba (Senegal), Frederic Kanoute (Mali)
His hat-trick in that 5-0 thrashing of rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford last month elevated Salah beyond Drogba’s tally of 104 Premier League goals.
With Salah also on target in last weekend’s 4-0 drubbing of Arsenal, the Egyptian star now has 108 in the competition (two for his old club Chelsea and 106 for Liverpool).
Remarkably, Salah became the first ever visiting player to score a Premier League hat-trick at Old Trafford, his treble the highlight of an astonishing scoring run of 14 goals in 10 consecutive matches in all competitions.
Salah looks likely to establish a benchmark for African players in England’s top-flight that probably won’t ever be beaten even if he barely scrapes into the top 30 of overall Premier League goalscorers.
And the bad news for Drogba, who netted 100 times in his first Chelsea spell and four in his second during the 2014-15 season, is that he could soon be third in this particular list.
Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, from Senegal, has also zoomed up on him, reaching 102 Premier League goals after he too netted against Arsenal.
With Mane in sparkling form this season, it’s only a matter of time before he moves ahead of Drogba and it could be neck and neck between him and team-mate Salah from then on.
Drogba though may not be too bothered – his tally of four Premier League titles with Chelsea is unlikely to be bettered by either Liverpool star and his legendary status is secure.
Didier Drogba won the Premier League title four times during his two spells with Chelsea
Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mane is also closing in on some of Drogba’s records
Top Premier League assist providers from Africa
55 – Didier Drogba
47 – Riyad Mahrez
41 – Mohamed Salah
37 – Sadio Mane
36 – Emmanuel Adebayor
32 – Steven Pienaar, Yaya Toure
29 – Kanu
27 – Wilfried Zaha
26 – Yakubu
Further down the list of African goalscorers, the well-travelled and often controversial Togo international Emmanuel Adebayor scored 97 goals for Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace.
And another who played for a quartet of Premier League clubs, Nigerian forward Yakubu Ayegbeni, netted 95 goals for Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Everton and Blackburn Rovers.
There is then a significant gap to the next active African scorers, with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez both on 68.
As it happens, such a good all-round forward was Drogba he also is the leading African when it comes to Premier League assists with 55.
That’s another record more than likely to fall in the near future because Algerian Mahrez is on 47 and is slowly closing the gap.
Mind you, it could also be Salah, whose six league assists so far this campaign have taken him to 41 overall as he zeroes in on another Drogba record.
As for the Champions League, it’s little surprise to see Drogba, who also played in Europe’s top competition for Marseille and Galatasaray, lead the way on the African scorers’ chart with 44 goals.
And – surprise, surprise – it’s Salah hunting him down. The Egyptian has 33 at the moment and will be hoping to add to that when Liverpool host Porto on Wednesday night.
Manchester City’s Algerian Riyad Mahrez is closing in on Drogba’s record of assists
Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has 68 goals and counting in the Premier League
Top African scorers in the Champions League
44 – Didier Drogba
33 – Mohamed Salah
30 – Samuel Eto’o
21 – Sadio Mane
15 – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Seydou Doumbia
14 – Riyad Mahrez, Vincent Aboubakar
At his current rate of scoring – five in the group stage already this season – you would expect Salah to sail past Drogba in the next year or two.
So it’s no wonder the Ivorian is starting to fear he won’t have any records left.
Not that there’s any jealousy. In the same TV appearance, Drogba spoke warmly of Salah’s talent and humble personality even when game time at Chelsea proved impossible to come by.
He said: ‘What I’ve seen during training, and all his team-mates will tell you, the quality was there.
‘He just needed time on the pitch to show his talent and his quality.
‘When you look at the squad we had at the time, it was not easy to play, but what really got me attached to Mo is that he’s really nice, he’s really polite, even when he was not playing.
‘He was sad not to contribute, but he was always good. When you have this kind of intelligence it’s just a matter of time before you blow up.’
Salah has certainly done that and now appears to be on a mission to completely rewrite the history books.
Drogba helped Chelsea win their first Champions League trophy back in 2012