Egyptian striker and first woman to join the Premiere League with Stoke City, Sarah Essam, has landed a Golden Boot provoking fans to question why she is not receiving the same recognition as the famous Egyptian male striker Mohamed ‘Mo’ Salah.
“Another great achievement in my football career. Another positive step taking me closer to many things I’ve always been dreaming of. Believe. Couldn’t have done without all teammates/staff, always been a privilege playing with this badge on my shirt,” Essam tweeted.
— Salma Salaheldine (@salmasalah93) May 24, 2019
At the young age of 16, Essam began her journey in the football scene when she began playing for Egypt’s national team. The now 20-year-old striker started making waved when she first joined Stoke City in 2017. In 2018, Essam landed the title and award from London Arab Foundation for the “Arab Woman of the Year: Achievement in Sport”.
Her performance in the last season, where she remarkably scored 12 goals in 12 appearances, landed her a ‘Top Scorer’ award for her team ‘Stoke City Ladies’ Development Team, and two ‘Player of the Match’ awards ranking her team to third place. This achievement was the same year compatriot and Liverpool striker Salah was titled ‘Top Scorer’ in the men’s division. Of course, fans were quick to compare the two.
truthfully, she deserves the same amount of recognition that Mo Salah gets. it’s so unfair how we praise male athletes, and totally neglect the female ones when they win the same trophies. nobody watches women’s league? so what? we still owe her a warm, round of applause. https://t.co/6LCWl03Gt9
— babycakes. (@WaywardBlues) May 29, 2019
Some fans shared their thoughts on social media by saying Essam “truthfully … deserves the same amount of recognition that Mo Salah gets. [I]t’s so unfair how we praise male athletes, and totally neglect the female ones when they win the same trophies.” However, the 20-year-old striker did not win the same award Salah who was awarded ‘Premier Lague Golden Boot’ for scoring 22 goals in the season .
“We really do need to give more attention acknowledge Middle Eastern Women’s achievements in Sports abroad,” voiced Salma Salaheldine, another fan, “It’s a shame that foreigners appreciate it more than we do.”
The young aspiring footballer is also pursuing an degree in engineering as well while balancing her football career.
Essam is just one of the many Egyptian female athletes that have been leaving their stamp on the sports scene nationally and internationally. The rise of powerful and persistent female athletes such as Farida Salem, and Esraa Osama to name a few, is changing the game for all women in the scene.
*Cover photo credit: Stoke City Ladies