No Mo holding back!
Egypt’s Salah fit and ready to fire aga inst Uruguay
EGYPT f o r ward Mohamed Salah has recovered from a shoulder injury and i s al most 1 00% certain to play in their World Cup opener against Uruguay today, coach Hector Cuper said yesterday, ending weeks of suspense about the fitness of his most dangerous striker. Cuper went f u r t h e r by predicting on the eve of the match that Salah could emerge as one of the t o ur nament’s most prol i f i c goalscorers. “Mo is doing very well indeed. He’s recovered very, very quickly – we’ve paid a lot of attention to him,” the veteran coach told a news conference before the squad’s last training session ahead of today’s match. “I can almost assure you 100% that he will play, save unforeseen circumstances at the very last minute.” Cuper shrugged off any doubts over whether Salah would feel sufficiently confident of his physical state to be able to perform at his best. “We’re trying to make him feel confident – even the doctors are giving him the option to play or not, but I know Salah very well and I’m sure he’s not afraid, he’s not fearful,” he said. “In terms of him on the pitch – if he does decide to play he’ll have full guarantees in terms of his physical condition, he’s going to be fine. “Certainly he doesn’t feel afraid.” Salah, who turns 26 on the day of the game, gave 100 million frantic Egyptians a massive boost yesterday when he joined a squad training session at their Grozny base. And now this news would just drive the fans over the roof.
Egypt are back in the World Cup finals for the first time since 1990 and their progress to the last 16 could hinge on Salah enjoying the form that saw him voted England’s Player of t h e Ye a r b y h i s fellow professionals.
Uruguay are t he t oughest opponents for the north African team, and they will fancy their chances of advancing from Group A, which also includes Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Cuper has attempted to dismiss the notion that Egypt are a one-man side, but with 44 goals i n all competitions t his season for Liverpool, Salah’s badly timed injury has become a national obsession back home.
Salah is regarded as a contender for the Ballon d’Or for his spectacular debut season at Anfield, alongside Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar of Brazil.
Cuper also entertained a question from a reporter about Salah’s prospects of emerging as the top scorer at the tournament.
“Why not? “He could become the top goalscorer here and one of the greatest players.” – Reuters/AFP
News that Egypt’s forward Mohamed Salah will feature in their game against Uruguay today is definitely a good news for fans of the Pharaohs.