Didier Drogba has opened up about Mohamed Salah's struggles during his Chelsea days and revealed the key ingredient behind his frightening Liverpool form.
The Blues legend played alongside Salah during the former's second spell at Stamford Bridge, and watched on as the 25-year-old failed to set the Premier League alight following his big money move from Basel.
Speaking to BBC Sport about Salah's troubled time in west London, Drogba explained how the Egypt international would regularly text him about why he couldn't find the back of the net - and expressed his delight at seeing Salah now scoring regularly for the Reds.
He said: "There was time when he was texting me: 'I don't score, I don't know why.' I said: 'It is just a matter of time and confidence.'
"When you have the confidence, everything can happen and you can see now that he is scoring goals.
"I saw how he improved through the years. He had to go to Italy to perform and then come back to England show that he is the player we always believed he was
"What he has done with the national team as well being able to qualify the country in a very difficult game I think he deserves it."
Salah has plundered 19 goals in his first 24 matches for Liverpool after a £37m transfer from Roma in the summer, and was recently crowned the BBC's 2017 African Footballer of the Year for his displays for clubs and country.
The ex-Fiorentina loanee will play for his nation at next summer's World Cup in Russia and Drogba, a one-time Ivory Coast international, backed Salah to be one of the tournament's biggest stars next June.
Mo Salah. No stupid haircuts, doesn’t have his own emoji, didn’t make a cringe video to announce him, no dabbing, no signature boots. Top goal scorer in the league. £36million.— What$app Ricky. (@RickyMason4) December 10, 2017
He added: "He can bring a lot of his leadership and his experience, that he is learning at Liverpool and with the national team [to the team in Russia].
"You know for him playing in a lot of big competitions will help him to be among the best players in Europe and during the World Cup
"Mo Salah on his own cannot win the World Cup but if all his team-mates are at the level the continent expects them to be, then Mo Salah can be a fantastic player and be one of the stars in this competition."