No Mo hold­ing back!

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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