Thousands of supporters turned up to watch Egypt’s final, late night training session before taking flight for Russia, cheering wildly. The record seven-time African champions have qualified for the World Cup for only the third time and first since 1990.
Although dressed in jersey, Salah did not train with team and stood on the pitch, while chatting to training. Salah has been picked in the Egypt squad despite suffering from a shoulder injury, he picked up in Liverpool’s 3-1 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid that many fans feared would keep him out of the global football showpiece.
After scoring 44 goals from 52 club appearances for Liverpool last season, following his move from Roma, Salah is in his pick form of career. Egyptian hopes that his fire power would help them to advance World Cup campaign in Russia.
“Now I’m feeling better,” Salah told. “I’m hopeful of being able to play in our first game, but this will depend on how I feel when the day comes around.”
Salah, did not agree with Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos that he could continue for Liverpool in Kiev had he taken a pain-killing injection. He scored from a last minute penalty that sealed Egypt’s place at a first World Cup in 28 years. He also insists they are serious about their World Cup campaign and should not be considered lightly.
“We’ve got a great team and a great coach. We want to get into the next round and do things well there,” he added.
“We’re strong as a group, we all have the same objective, which is to win and that’s the most important thing. We don’t just have one strong point, but the main thing is we play together as a group.”
“The pressure was to qualify for the World Cup. Of course, you can then say ‘right, we’ve got there, that’s that’, but for me it’s not like that. We want to make history and achieve something different. It’s not a simple case of going, playing three games and thank you very much. That’s not going through my head.”
The Egyptian football federation had said after his injury that he required three weeks to recuperate, meaning he might miss their opening Group A match and could be only available against Russia and Saudi Arabia. They begin their Russian campaign on June 15 against Uruguay, two time winner of World Cup.