Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah could miss the 2018 World Cup in Russia after dislocating his shoulder in the Champions League final. The Reds lost 3-1 to Real Madrid in Saturday night’s final in Kyiv, but Salah could face further heartache as he may not recover fast enough to feature for Egypt.
He picked up the injury after being hauled to the ground by Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, locking arms with the Spanish international and subsequently dislocating on impact when he fit the floor. He was forced off after just 30 minutes and is now a genuine doubt to make history with his country.
It’s bad news for the national team as Salah’s outstanding debut season at Liverpool gave them hope they could qualify from Group A (Uruguay, Russia, Saudi Arabia) this summer. Egypt are 9/5 to qualify from Group A which isn’t a bad bet, especially with Bookie Pro, whose bonus code could land you a bigger return than the norm.
Uruguay are expected to top the group, as they boast an attack that contains Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain) and Luis Suarez (Barcelona) and a defence that will be marshalled by Diego Godin and José María Giménez (both Atletico Madrid). However, second place is up for grabs. Egypt have a great opportunity to finish ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia, with or without Salah.
The 25-year-old is still confident of recovering in time for the World Cup, saying on Twitter: “Your love and support will give me the strength I need”, but Egypt’s first group game is just 18 days away and a dislocated shoulder can take up to 16 weeks to full recover. Salah certainly wouldn’t be fully fit if he did feature, so it could be a big risk to include him.
On the other hand, Egypt owe a lot to him for his efforts in getting them there in the first place. Salah scored three goals in four World Cup qualifiers, including the winning goal against Congo to send his country to Russia, so he’s played a big part in their recent success.
Salah’s been a good servant for his country too, scoring 33 goals in 57 games, so few could blame Héctor Cúper for wanting to gamble on him as he’s one of the best players in Europe. The 25-year-old is coming off the back of scoring 44 goals in his debut season at Liverpool and could take Egypt further than expected. It’s been 28 years since The Pharaohs last made a World Cup.