The FIFA World Cup can be the highlight of a player’s career or can bring massive disappointment. For Mohamed Salah, the stars seemed to be aligned for a special summer in Russia, but fate, unfortunately, had other plans for Liverpool’s star man.
The 26-year-old arrived at the tournament with Egypt injured, and that aspect ultimately undermined the team’s chances in the group stage. After losses against Uruguay and Russia, the Pharaohs were officially eliminated before their third game of the 2018 World Cup.
All the trouble started in May, with the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid. Liverpool fell 3-1 on the night, and much of that had to do with Salah’s shoulder. A harsh tackle from defender Sergio Ramos in the first half knocked the talented forward out of the game and cast a shadow of doubt over his chances of playing in the World Cup for his country.
Incredibly, Salah worked to get himself ready, and he was selected in manager Hector Cuper’s squad. However, it seems that perhaps he rushed himself back into action a bit too soon.
Salah did not feature in Egypt’s opening match versus Uruguay, and he was unable to push his side past Russia in the next fixture. He did add a goal from the penalty spot in that second game, but it was just not enough.
It was an essential moment for Salah and Egypt, taking part in their first World Cup since 1990. The talent was present in the squad, and he was an attacker expected to be able to lead this group of players into the knockout rounds. Instead, an injury at the worst possible time kept that dream from becoming a reality.
For Salah specifically, the focus will soon shift towards the upcoming 2018-19 campaign with Liverpool, and he will be looking forward to putting this summer swoon behind him.
A major opportunity for trophies on the horizon
Liverpool finished fourth in the Premier League table last term and reached their first Champions League final since 2007. There was plenty to be optimistic about in regards to the new season, and those good feelings are already being seen in the transfer market.
Manager Jurgen Klopp has added two strong pieces to the line-up with Naby Keita and Fabinho, with the combined fees for those two reportedly passing £90 million. Keita’s presence in the midfield should help to let the attack shine, and there is certainly firepower up front for the Reds.
Alongside Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, Salah helped to drive Liverpool’s incredible front-line to tremendous success. The Egyptian star finished with 33 league goals, and 45 across all competitions.
The attacking trident can completely overwhelm the opposition, and bring an electric pace to most matches. With reinforcements arriving in the midfield and at the back, there is a reason to believe those goalscoring numbers can bring even more victories at Anfield in the near future.
Mohamed Salah has endured a difficult summer thus far. Despite these issues, he should be excited and anxious for what could be an exceptional season with Liverpool in 2018-19.