Edin Dzeko will take to the San Siro pitch with old friend Mohamed Salah when Inter Milan welcome Liverpool in the Uefa Champions League last 16 on Wednesday night.
After a poor spell at Chelsea, and signs of promise at Fiorentina, Salah’s career started to take off after arriving at Roma in 2015.
Once firmly established as strike partners under Luciano Spalletti, Dzeko and Salah hit it off in a big way, scoring 58 goals in all competitions in 2016-17 and helping Roma to second in Serie A as an ageing Francesco Totti was shunted aside.
Salah’s inconsistent but at times unstoppable performances earned him a move to Merseyside, where under Jurgen Klopp he quickly became one of the world’s best, for what now looks a paltry 50 million euros (at the time £43 million).
“I must say, in some little way, I helped Momo become what he is now,” Dzeko said in an interview published by the Daily Mail last week.
“We had a great time together in Rome… I’m so happy for him, a great guy who deserves everything he has achieved.”
Dzeko looks a player reborn since making the move north from Roma in the summer and has been such a hit with Inter fans that they have largely forgotten Romelu Lukaku, the key man behind last season’s league triumph.
Lukaku’s interview with Sky Sport Italia was met with little more than shrugged shoulders from Inter fans.
Less prolific than Lukaku, Dzeko has nonetheless scored 14 goals in all competitions and often pops up when it matters.
Liverpool have already been to the San Siro once this season, strolling past AC Milan and knocking Inter’s local rivals out of Europe.
But Dzeko doesn’t think the gap between Italy’s top sides and Europe’s best is as big as that match made it seem.
“We played two even matches with Real Madrid, we should have won the first one but we weren’t at the level we are right now,” Dzeko recently told the Corriere Della Sera.
“Liverpool are a good side, they’re beatable but they can also hit five past you. We are going to give it a go.”