Reda El-Mallah had heard so much about the footballing sensation from the tiny Egyptian town of Nagrig that he felt compelled to organise a trial to judge for himself.
Yet, the name ringing in the ears of the intrigued scout was Sherif. A young, spindly left-footer had been roped in to make up the numbers but outshone the trial's focus and everyone else involved. No prizes for guessing his name.
A decade and a half after his accidental discovery, Mohamed Salah has established himself as one of the most devastating wingers in world football - a reputation that has earned him an eye-watering wage at Liverpool.
Here's everything you need to know about Salah's salary, which helps explain why he was so unflustered by Liverpool's repeated rebuttal of any approach from the Saudi Pro League and the riches they offer.
How much does Mohamed Salah earn at Liverpool?
Billy Liddell is one of only four players to have scored more goals for Liverpool than Salah. Back in 1960, during his final year as a professional, Liddell collected £16 and two shillings per week, the equivalent of a little more than £300 in today's money. Salah's current wage is in another galaxy.
In a study with Harvard Business School, Salah's lawyer Ramy Abbas Issa detailed the negotiation process behind his client's contract extension with Liverpool in the summer of 2022.
"If we find a way to get Liverpool to agree to the salary we have in mind and if Mohamed performs at a level he has achieved in the past seasons..." Abbas said, as quoted by The Guardian, "we conservatively expect the total amount received by Mohamed and the image rights companies over the next few years from both his playing contract and his image rights contracts to be somewhere between €54m (£46.8m) and €62m (£53.7m) per year."
When all of Salah's sponsorship and performance-related bonuses - which were the main sticking point in the lengthy negotiations throughout 2022 - are taken into account, the 31-year-old could take home more than £1m per week. Salah can count on this wage until his contract expires in 2025.
Mohamed Salah's salary compared to his Liverpool teammates
Not every player's representation is as forthcoming as Salah's confidant Abbas when it comes to their client's salary - particularly regarding the complex realm of image rights and match bonuses.
The best estimates suggest that Virgil van Dijk is the highest earner on Merseyside behind Salah, with Liverpool's club captain thought to earn a basic weekly wage of £220,000 (according to Capology).
Thiago Alcantara is the only other player on Liverpool's books to rake in £200,000-per-week or more. Unlike Salah, who scarcely misses a match, Thiago has collected many of his payslips from the treatment room. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich midfielder is yet to start more than 20 Premier League games in a season and hasn't featured at all this term.
Salah's salary not only puts him top of the money tree in the current dressing room but ranks him above any other player to have ever passed through the club's doors. According to Abbas, Salah's deal is "the highest value contract in the history of Liverpool. But he is worth it".
Mohamed Salah's salary compared to the Premier League's top earners
Jurgen Klopp is always keen to stress that Liverpool operate in a different financial realm to state-funded clubs such as Manchester City. Yet, Salah falls into the same wage bracket as Pep Guardiola's superstars.
One of the innumerable records shattered by Erling Haaland last term was Salah's single-season Premier League goal tally of 32. City's painfully prolific forward racked up 36 in England's top flight alone. Yet, the contract which Haaland penned in 2022 was littered with bonuses that would have been triggered without his goal glut, according to the Daily Mail.
Last October, it was reported that Haaland earned roughly £865,000-per-week - more than double a basic salary thought to be in the region of £375,000-per-week.
Kevin De Bruyne, who created 11 goals for Haaland last season, reportedly boasts the largest Premier League wage with bonuses removed. De Bruyne's gargantuan £400,000-per-week haul is almost equivalent to the entire wage bill of newly promoted Luton Town (£457,500).
Last season Klopp bemoaned that Liverpool "cannot act like" City. "It is not possible. Not possible," he fretted. "You have the best team in the world and you put in the best striker on the market. No matter what it costs, you just do it." Well, Liverpool didn't exactly spare much expense when agreeing on Salah's renewed deal.