Liverpool’s star, Mohamed Salah, is keen to redirect attention from his injury sustained during the AFCON (African Cup of Nations) tournament.
The 31-year-old Liverpool forward was substituted shortly before half-time in Egypt’s 2-2 draw with Ghana, showing signs of a potential hamstring issue. It has been confirmed that Salah will miss Egypt’s upcoming two games, and he emphasized that playing is not obligatory for him at this moment.
There is a possibility that Salah has concluded his participation in the tournament, as a favorable outcome is necessary against Cape Verde on Monday for Egypt to advance to the knockout stages.
The Liverpool talisman has said of being ruled out: “I am happy to be here, my injury is still there but the most important thing is to speak about the game. We have great players, a great team and we just need to fight and see what is going to happen. We have great players and this is the best 20 players in Egypt so we need to play our game with courage and confidence and I believe we are going to win the game. I would love to win it, absolutely.
“I’ve won everything possible [with Liverpool] but not this one, yet. I believe it will happen, everything I believe I achieve, so it will happen. Sooner or later it will happen. You see the levels here are very close, you go to every game and you don’t know who is going to win. The football is improving a lot, players playing in Europe and big levels. So I think African football is improving a lot and you can see also at the world level with what Morocco did at the World Cup (semi-finalists). All of Africa were behind them, so I think it is improving a lot.”
Salah ‘believes’ in Egypt and their squad
Salah went on to say, with somebody required to step in and provide cover during an injury-enforced absence: “I hear the criticism [of Egypt]. When we lose a match people are very critical. I believe in my team and I believe in the players. I think we will continue to improve on our performance. It is true that I am the captain but I wish people would be more flexible and realise players are giving their best, even if the outcome is different to what is expected. I ask the supporters to get behind the team. Football is not easy. We have some players participating in the tournament for the first time.
“Pressure is not on the supporters but it is on us as players. We are open to criticism. But as professionals, we know what is expected on the field. I respect all opinions. I do my best but I don’t take into account what is being said on social media. And I don’t believe my presence puts extra pressure on the players.
“It is not mandatory to play with Mohamed Salah. Any player can be replaced and the others will improve open performance but it doesn’t mean that player has adversely affected performance of those players. I believe we are a team and that’s all I can say about your question.”
Egypt experienced defeat in the AFCON final in 2022, and Salah, unfortunately, didn’t get the chance to take a penalty in the decisive shootout against Senegal. Despite achieving numerous major honors at the club level, questions about his future at Anfield persist. Notably, the two final defeats in 2022 and 2017 represent the closest he has come to securing silverware with the Egyptian national team.