Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has risen to Mohamed Salah’s defence following allegations that he’s been diving to win penalties.
The Egyptian forward has been at the centre of a growing debate over diving due to an apparent willingness to fall to the ground too easily in a challenge.
As a result, several spot-kicks have come in Salah’s favour this term with Crystal Palace players even confronting him during Liverpool’s last game on January 19 when he was not awarded a penalty for falling to the ground.
But Klopp is adamant that Salah would never dive on purpose and suggested that critics are only targetting him due to the fact he plays for a big club like Liverpool.
“[Crystal Palace] was the first situation where he went down without [a penalty] and you speak about all the other situations as well,” said Klopp, according to FourFourTwo.
“The other situations there is nothing to talk about – it is a penalty, done. If this is the first then why do we talk about?
“There are other situations, much more obvious situations, that we don’t talk about and nobody is talking about because it’s not [Manchester] City, it’s not [Manchester] United, it’s not Liverpool, it’s not Arsenal or it’s not Chelsea.
“All the others can do it from time to time and nobody really talks about it. It’s all fine.
“All the penalties against him were penalties, but people handle it like it was halfway diving – it was not. We don’t need blood for a foul in football. That’s all I will say about it.”
Interestedly, Klopp then pointed out that Leicester City’s star striker Jamie Vardy falls to the ground in the same way as Salah does.
The German made these comments ahead of tonight’s Premier League match against the Foxes at Anfield.
“Did anyone talk to Jamie Vardy when, everybody saw [against Southampton], he jumped in? Is Jamie a bad person because of that?” Klopp added.
“I don’t say now he is a diver. That is another situation.
“You have them in the back, you are there, you feel something, do you have to go down?
“Probably not. I don’t have to speak to players about obvious things. He knows that. Don’t go down in situations like that.”