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Egypt’s new manager hit out at Mo Salah’s injury decision – “National team a red line”

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Egypt have appointed a new manager after their early AFCON elimination, and he was one of the loudest voices to criticise Mohamed Salah‘s return to Liverpool for treatment.

Salah suffered a hamstring injury in Egypt’s second group game in the Africa Cup of Nations, and he soon returned to Liverpool to aid his recovery.

It was a decision that resulted in plenty of backlash and criticism, with many failing to understand the benefits of the 31-year-old receiving specialist treatment at his club.

Hossam Hassan, Egypt’s all-time top goalscorer, was one figure who strongly hit out at Salah, and he has now been named the new manager after the dismissal of Rui Vitoria following a round of 16 exit.

Speaking on Salah’s injury back in January, Hassan said, via KingFut: “If Salah feels he wants to travel, he should travel and not return to the national team again because the injury is not severe; he needs physiotherapy which is available with the national team.

Egypt's Mohamed Salah receives medical treatment during the African Cup of Nations Group B soccer match between Egypt and Ghana in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Thursday, Jan.18, 2024. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

“A hamstring injury does not require extensive facilities in Liverpool.

“Big clubs always send doctors and physical therapists with top players to these tournaments, and in Liverpool, they know if Salah needs something, they will send doctors to him.

“Salah, with his great value, should continue with the national team both morally and psychologically.”

And perhaps the most telling line was when Hassan said, “if I was the Egypt manager and he told me his desire to travel to Liverpool, I would tell him to continue there, and we have capable men in the national team.

“Salah is one of the best individuals who have achieved accomplishments for Egypt globally, but the national team is a red line for anyone. Even if you are injured and cannot play, you have a significant role from both a technical and moral perspective.”

Makes for an interesting relationship between the player, his national team and the club moving forward then!

The agreement between Liverpool and Egypt was for Salah to return to AFCON as soon as he was fit, which would have been the final – but they did not make it that far.

Throughout all the criticism, Jurgen Klopp, Pepijn Lijnders and his agent, Ramy Abbas, were quick to defend Salah and call out those questioning the decisions of the Egypt captain.