Egyptian national soccer coach Hector Cuper on Monday said that Liverpool talisman Mohamed Salah’s participation in the team’s 2018 FIFA World Cup match against Russia will depend on a final medical test.
Salah trained normally alongside his teammates in the final practice session before the clash, given that he seemed to have fully recovered from a shoulder injury he sustained on May 26 which sidelined him in Egypt’s 1-0 win over Uruguay in their tourney opener.
“Salah is in good condition, as we also thought he was against Uruguay, until the final test at the last minute,” Cuper said at a press conference on the eve of Tuesday’s match.
“Today we have an important test and we hope he is ready to play, I think it’s very important for us,” he added.
Salah was the only player to train with the ball at St. Petersburg, the venue for Tuesday’s match.
When asked about Salah’s significance in the team, Cuper said the Egyptian star is one of the “top 10 players in the world” and that coaching him is an honour because, in addition to his talent, he is “humble, simple and a team player.”
“He is important for us, obviously, no one can deny it. Salah has an incredible ability in the last 25 meters, he’s shown it in Liverpool and in Rome before that,” he added.
Cuper said Egypt is looking for a win against Russia in their second match of the tournament after Russia thumped Saudi Arabia 5-0 in its own opener.
“I am not concerned with not scoring against Uruguay and in previous friendlies. We are what we are, we have what we have, and we work to score and to avoid conceding goals – we seek balance,” he added.