‘I’m a fighter. I’m confident I’ll be in Russia’ - Salah boosts World Cup 2018 hopes
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah says he is ‘confident’ he will recover from dislocating his shoulder during Saturday’s Champions League final in time for the Russia 2018 World Cup.
The Reds' notoriously speedy winger is facing a race against time to be fit for Egypt's first World Cup game of Russia 2018 against Uruguay on June 15.
Egyptian Salah tweeted on Sunday: “It was a very tough night, but I'm a fighter. Despite the odds, I'm confident that I'll be in Russia to make you all proud. Your love and support will give me the strength I need.”
It was a very tough night, but I'm a fighter. Despite the odds, I'm confident that I'll be in Russia to make you all proud. Your love and support will give me the strength I need. pic.twitter.com/HTfKF4S70e— Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) May 27, 2018
Salah suffered the injury during a tussle with Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, leaving the pitch tears after being forced off midway through the first half with the game goalless in Kiev. Liverpool went on to lose the match 3-1 without their 44-goal talisman on the field.
Despite Salah’s dislocated shoulder taking usually around 12 weeks to heal, the Ballon d’Or contender believes he will recover in time for Egypt’s opener versus the Uruguayans at Ekaterinburg Arena.
A portion of Liverpool’s support were furious at Ramos’ challenge on Salah, some going as far as to create a petition titled: “UEFA & FIFA should punish Sergio Ramos for intentionally hurting Mohamed Salah” which had gained over 220,000 signatures.
The petition reads: “Sergio Ramos represents an awful example to future generations of football players. Instead of winning matches fairly, he uses tricks that defy the spirit of the game and fair play.
“UEFA and FIFA should take measures against Ramos and similar players, using the video recordings of matches to keep the spirit of the game.”
Other fans found a more familiar target for blame in Russian president Vladimir Putin. Social media users accused Putin of mysteriously arranging Salah’s injury so the player would not face Russia in their Group A match on June 19.
On the pitch, Karim Benzema put Real ahead on 50 minutes with help from a Loris Karius mistake before Sadio Mane leveled for Liverpool four minutes later.
Then Real's Gareth Bale, two minutes after entering the field of play, produced one of the all-time great Champions League final goals with an overhead kick from a Marcelo cross on 62 minutes.
READ MORE: Liverpool fans’ petition for UEFA to ban Ramos reaches 150,000 signature target
Karius then again gifted Real a goal when Bale shot from 25 yards with seven minutes remaining. Despite the ball swerving and dipping, the German keeper should have caught Bale's drive.
Instead, he simply palmed the ball into his own net, quite literally handing the Madrid side their third consecutive Champions League title.