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Klopp key to surprising Salah success – Totti

Roma great Francesco Totti has admitted a measure of surprise over former team-mate Mohamed Salah's stunning debut season at Liverpool.

Salah beat Kevin De Bruyne to the PFA Players' Player of the Year award on Sunday for his incredible 31-goal haul in the Premier League, which has him five clear in the race for the Golden Boot.

He has also scored eight in the Champions League and will look to carry that form into the first leg of Liverpool's semi-final encounter with Roma on Tuesday.

Totti, who played alongside Salah for two seasons at Stadio Olimpico, believes the winger's exceptional run of performances on Merseyside is a credit to Reds boss Jurgen Klopp.

"To some extent, it surprises me that [Salah] has been doing so well in his first season at Liverpool," Totti told Liverpool's official website. 

"But, on the other hand, considering the quality of the squad, the coach they have – Klopp, to me, is one of the best coaches in the world – it didn't surprise me. 

"They put him in the condition to express himself at his best."

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Roma's trip to Anfield marks their first appearance beyond the quarter-finals since losing on penalties to Liverpool in the 1984 European Cup final.

Totti, who spent 25 seasons with the Giallorossi, expects this year's tie to be decided by similarly fine margins.

"This season I've seen a number of games of Liverpool, especially because Mo Salah is now playing there, I've been following it consistently," he added.

"Especially after the draw, over the past few days I've been watching their Champions League games and I really think it's going to be a tough game for both teams.

"Obviously, if I think back to that European Cup final in 1984, it's a bad memory, so we would have probably have avoided such a draw.

"But we needed to pick one of the best three teams in Europe that were left, and now we are playing Liverpool."