Mohamed Salah has returned to Liverpool after being honored in New York, by TIME magazine, amid a heated Premier League title race.
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) – Named one of the world's most influential people by TIME magazine, Mohamed Salah broke away from Liverpool's preparations for a crucial Premier League match to attend a gala in New York this week.
Jurgen Klopp was happy that his star player made the trip.
''In the world at the moment, it's very important that you have a voice like Mo's voice,'' the Liverpool manager said. ''It shouldn't be his first job, obviously, but it's very important he has still an opinion and makes that opinion public.''
Pictured wearing a tuxedo, Salah mixed with high-profile figures from music, film, television and sports at the red-carpet event on Tuesday.
In an interview with TIME, the Egyptian said ''we need to change the way we treat women in our culture'' and that he supports women ''more than I did before'' because they deserve it.
''We always say football is not the most important thing in the world,'' Klopp said, ''but in moments when you have to prove it and have to be there, of course he can miss one session. And that's what he did.
''I saw a few pictures,'' Klopp added, ''and he looked brilliant in his tuxedo. Wow! ... If he had have asked me, maybe I would have joined him but he didn't.''
Salah is back in Liverpool and was scheduled to train with the squad on Thursday ahead of Friday's game against Huddersfield at Anfield.
Liverpool is one point behind Manchester City with three games remaining as they fight for the Premier League title. Liverpool is also in the semifinals of the Champions League, with their first leg against Barcelona next week in Spain.
''Traveling these days is no problem anymore,'' Klopp said of Salah's midweek trip. ''It would be more of a problem if his car had broken and he had to walk here. We're pretty comfortable.''