Egyptian star Mohamed Salah, Liverpool's top scorer, broke his silence – today, Thursday – to respond to the uproar surrounding his exit from the Egypt national team's camp in the African Cup of Nations after sustaining an injury against Ghana, hours after his coach Jurgen Klopp responded to those who doubted the Egyptian international's loyalty to the Pharaohs' national team.
Salah wrote – on his social media accounts – in Arabic, saying, “Yesterday I started the treatment and rehabilitation program, and I will do everything possible to be ready as soon as possible and return to the national team according to what was agreed upon from the beginning.”
The Egyptian national team captain did not forget to respond to his critics, adding, “I love my country and its people. Try harder.”
Yesterday I started the treatment and rehabilitation program and I will do everything possible to be ready as soon as possible and return to the national team as was agreed upon from the beginning…. I also love it and love its people 🇪🇬… Try harder 😛 pic.twitter.com/FsNsBfY99M
– Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) January 25, 2024
Mohamed Salah was subjected to a severe wave of criticism, since Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp announced that the player would return to England to complete treatment for a muscle injury, and that if he recovered, he would return again to the Egyptian national team if it qualified for the final match.
Salah suffered an injury in Egypt's second match against Ghana, and it later became clear that the best possible chance for him to participate again in the tournament would be through his country's qualification to the final match.
The Egyptian international returned to Merseyside to receive treatment after suffering a hamstring injury, and he may be absent from the field for up to 4 weeks.
In turn, Klopp confronted those who doubted his team's star's loyalty to Egypt after Egyptian fans questioned Salah's loyalty to the Pharaohs' team. However, Klopp ridiculed these allegations, explaining that the decision to return the player to Liverpool to receive treatment was in the interest of all parties.
– Hany Ramzy Hany Ramzy 4 (@HanyRamzyEGY) January 22, 2024
Liverpool qualified for the English League Cup final on Wednesday evening, after drawing with Fulham 1-1 in the second leg of the semi-final.
After the meeting, Klopp said in response to a question on the BeIN Sports network about whether he believes that the Liverpool star gives priority to his club over his national team, “I cannot be part of this discussion. The Egyptian national team and Liverpool have the same interest, which is to have Mohamed Salah.” Fit as quickly as possible.
Jurgen Klopp's reaction to everyone accused #Mohamed Salah By avoiding playing for the national team #Egypt And alleging injury and disloyalty. I wish Ibrahim Saeed, Ahmed Hassan and other semi-professionals who did not do one millionth of what Salah did would watch, learn and apologize.#Police day #Egyptian_Police_Day… pic.twitter.com/8HKwir3nvN
— Ashehata (@AMShehata01) January 25, 2024
He added, “We decided to bring him back here, not to take him away from the Egyptian team, but to provide the best possible medical care. If Egypt reaches the final, and he is fit, Salah can return.”
He added, “If there is anyone who doubts Mohamed Salah's loyalty, he must reconsider himself, because Salah is the most loyal Egyptian I have ever met in my life.”
Jurgen Klopp: Mohamed Salah is one of the most loyal Egyptians I have met to his country's national team pic.twitter.com/4EMmSQs7pa
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS) January 25, 2024
Egyptian media criticized Klopp for being the one who announced the news of Salah's return to Liverpool instead of his country's national team.
Liverpool tried to defuse the dispute by seeking to ensure Salah's recovery as quickly as possible.
Klopp's assistant, Pep Lijnders, said that the decision to return was made in coordination with the Egyptian medical staff.
He continued, “Everything has been agreed upon and it is clear that if Egypt qualifies for the final, and Mo is ready, he will return 100%. He wants that.”
— 🇪🇬🔻şάμά žίάȡ 🔻Journalist (@samaziad123) January 18, 2024
“I know Egypt is devastated to lose him,” Lijnders said earlier this week. “We were devastated when we heard he was injured. The only reason their medical team and our team decided he would return was to give him the best possible chance of being available if Egypt reached the final.”