Egyptian football star Mohamed Salah is learning the hard way that you cannot please everyone.
Hailed for his sensational form since joining Liverpool from AS Roma last summer, Salah was the recent target of an op-ed in Egyptian state-run newspaper Al-Ahram.
Egyptian columnist Salah Montaser sparked a social media firestorm when he asserted that the Liverpool star should shave his beard as it “puts him in one basket with extremists…. and terrorists.”
Well, many Egyptians have since turned to social media to defend their idol, slamming the opinion as nonsense.
But of course, Salah was the protagonist as Egypt qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The 25-year-old scored a stoppage-time penalty to give Egypt a dramatic 2-1 win over Congo which booked their spot at the World Cup for the first time in 28 years.
He was also named the Premier League Player of the Month for a second time this season last week.
Salah is the Premier League’s joint-top scorer, with Tottenham’s Harry Kane, on 24 goals, and enjoys huge celebrity status in his native Egypt, which is struggling to combat an Islamic State-led insurgency.
Looks like he can keep the beard as long as he likes…fans still love him.