For players who are retired, one of the most lucrative job opportunities is in punditry.
They get to stay connected to the game despite not having the physical capabilities to play it at the highest level anymore, and they even get a platform to voice their opinions and express their thoughts about currently playing players, teams, managers, and so on.
Among popular pundits of this era are several prominent ex-players like Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, Thierry Henry, Michael Owen, Alan Shearer, and the list goes on and on.
These players usually did not cut it out as managers and sought media services instead, where they have found astounding success.
Although being a pundit is by no means an easy job, it is one with relatively few consequences for mistakes, and thus is a popular choice for those who feel like other doors are closing in on them.
There are also, of course, other reasons why people could become pundits. Maybe they love debating on TV, maybe they have strong opinions they want to showcase to the world, or maybe they just didn’t make it to the World Cup.
The last one is a little confusing, let us explain.
According to sources close to the Qatar World Cup, Mohamed Salah and Riyad Mahrez are on the list of names who are going to become analysts or pundits for the World Cup.
The tweet states that, according to Doha Sources, Mohamed Salah and Riyad Mahrez are going to be part of the BeIN sports analysis team for the World Cup.
BeIN Sports is a global sports company that operates out of Doha, Qatar, and is owned by Nasser Al-Khelaifi. You might know him from owning PSG.
Mohamed Salah plays for Egypt, a team which narrowly, and shockingly we might add, missed out on the tournament.
They finished dead last in their qualifiers group, not even qualifying for the knockout phases. Salah’s team lost 1-0 to Sadio Mane’s Senegal, which sealed the fate of Egypt’s World Cup journey before it even began.
Riyad Mahrez, another player mentioned in the tweet, plays for Algeria, who also missed out on qualification.
Unlike Egypt, they did make it to the knockout stages, however, they were bested by Vincent Aboubakar’s Cameroon.
Algeria had the two highest goal scorers in the tournament with Slimani and Mahrez, but their World Cup journey also ended before it began.
So with nothing to do during the international break, when most of their teammates play in the World Cup, it makes sense for Salah and Mahrez to give punditry a shot.
Granted, players who are currently in their prime are rarely ever seen in TV studios, it seems like a great move for them to see if it is a viable career option after they eventually retire.
Salah and Mahrez, being native Arabic speakers, would probably also provide the analysis in Arabic and not English.
From a marketing standpoint, this makes a lot of sense, as big names like two Premier League Player of The Year can and will draw large audiences.
Plus, there are not a lot of internationally established pundits in the Arabic language, so this could be a smart move to make up for this lack of services.
Fortunately for Salah, the Egyptian dialect is very well understood by Arabic speakers around the world because of how incredibly famous Cairo’s movie industry is. It is often called the Hollywood of the MENA region, MENA standing for the Middle East and North Africa.
Algerian dialect on the other hand is very difficult to understand, as it varies heavily from standard Arabic. So it is going to be interesting to see how Mahrez makes his language more globally accessible and intelligible. Since he also speaks French, it is possible that instead of Arabic he could be on the French panel instead.
Either way, it is great to see current players who are clearly experts in the field give analysis and punditry a shot. It is better than having “experts” who have never played the game in their life, and it’s also a great way to bring more audiences.
All going well, who knows, maybe Salah and Mahrez could be the next generation’s Neville and Carragher.