Mohamed Salah appears to have hinted at a retirement from international football during a touching speech to his Egypt teammates after they failed to qualify for the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
Egypt suffered a second major disappointment in the space of two months at the hands of Senegal — not only did the Lions of Teranga pip them to the Africa Cup of Nations crown in February, but they also crushed the Pharaohs’ dreams of going to the showpiece in Qatar earlier this week.
While there may have been expectations for the Liverpool star to carry his side to the World Cup, the forward, along with two of his teammates, missed his penalty during the shoot-out that followed their qualifier on Tuesday, while his strike partner at Anfield, Sadio Mane, scored the winning spot-kick to send Senegal to Qatar.
That result saw Carlos Queiroz step down as Egypt’s national team coach, while Salah gave an emotional speech to his colleagues in the dressing room after the match, during which he seemed to suggest that he might not play for the Pharaohs again.
“I told you before the second leg that I’m proud to play with you and you’re some of the most dedicated players I played with,” Salah could be heard saying to his teammates in a video that emerged late on Wednesday, per the Daily Mail.
“I played with the previous generation with Wael Gomaa and Mohamed Aboutrika, then with Abdallah El-Said and the following generation. And I can say that I’m happy with the current generation.
“I’m proud to have played with you and what happened was out of our control because they were penalty shoot-outs, and for the second time.
“There’s not much I can say, but it was a privilege to play alongside you, whether I’ll be here or not afterwards.” — KickOff.