Egyp­tians get Salah boost

Deccan Chronicle - - BUSINESS -

Yekaterinburg, June 14: Mo­hamed Salah has re­cov­ered from his shoul­der in­jury and bar­ring a last­minute hitch the Egyp­tian star will play in their World Cup opener against Uruguay on Friday, coach Hec­tor Cu­per said.

The striker’s re­turn af­ter weeks of un­cer­tainty is a mas­sive boost for Egypt and for the tour­na­ment in Rus­sia be­cause it means one of the hottest play­ers on the planet at the mo­ment will be in ac­tion.

“We still have to see how train­ing goes to­day, but I can al­most as­sure you 100 per­cent that he’ll play, we are all very op­ti­mistic that he will be on the pitch,” Cu­per said on Thursday, shortly be­fore lead­ing out his squad at Yekaterinburg Arena — with Salah among them.

The 62-year-old Ar­gen­tine Cu­per added: “Salah is very good and he’s re­cov­ered very quickly.”

Salah, who sus­tained the in­jury in Liver­pool’s Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal loss to Real Madrid on May 26, is cru­cial to Egypt’s hopes of mak­ing it out of a weak-look­ing Group ‘A’ also fea­tur­ing hosts Rus­sia and Saudi Ara­bia.

Salah, who turns 26 on the day of the game. And Cu­per hinted on Thursday that it was the player who had the fi­nal say whether to play. “Doc­tors are giv­ing him the op­tion. If he does de­cide to play he will have full guar­an­tee (about his con­di­tion) and I am sure that he will be fine,” said Cu­per.

Mean­while, Uruguay head into the game with the fo­cus on stars such as Luiz Suarez but with their World Cup hopes equally rest­ing with vet­eran coach Os­car

We still have to see how train­ing goes to­day, but I can al­most as­sure you 100 per cent that he’ll play, we are all very op­ti­mistic that he will be on the pitch. Salah is very good and he’s re­cov­ered very quickly. Doc­tors are giv­ing him the op­tion. If he does de­cide to play he will have full guar­an­tee (about his con­di­tion) and I am sure that he will be fine. — HEC­TOR CU­PER Egypt coach

Tabarez, who is bat­tling chronic ill­ness.

Friday’s game will see the 71-year-old take charge of the fa­mously tour­na­ment tough South Amer­i­can side at his fourth World Cup fi­nals, the first be­ing back in 1990. In all he has been in charge of Uruguay’s na­tional side for more than 180 games. Along the way Tabarez, nick­named “El Mae­stro” (the teacher), known for his un­demon­stra­tive man­ner, guided Uruguay to a fourth-place fin­ish in South Africa in 2010, and each time en­sured his team has got out of the group stage.

He has done so while bat­tling a de­bil­i­tat­ing neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tion, Guil­lainBarre syn­drome, which se­verely re­stricts his move­ment — and in Rus­sia may pos­si­bly be­come the first coach in World Cup his­tory to use a wheel­chair.

So far, he has been spot­ted over­see­ing Uruguay’s prepa­ra­tions at their Bor sports cen­tre base on Monday, just out­side the city of Nizhny Novgorod, walk­ing with the aid of a crutch.

But de­spite the painful per­sonal hur­dles, it is clear who is in charge of the Ce­leste. His A-list play­ers are un­equiv­o­cal in their sup­port for Tabarez. Luis Suarez, Edin­son Ca­vani and Diego Godin sup­port the coach at ev­ery step and con­sider him “un­touch­able”. “The team knows that El Mae­stro does not have to scream to tell you what to do,” Suarez said.

— Agen­cies

AP

Mo­hamed Salah trains with the Egyp­tian team on Thursday, eve of their Group ‘A’ match against Uruguay at the Yekaterinburg Arena. —

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