Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov had a very warm greeting for Egypt star player Mo Salah after the team's first public training session in Grozny. The Egypt squad chose the Chechen capital as their World Cup 2018 base of operations.
Salah himself was not taking part in the kickabout, as he is recovering from a serious shoulder injury, but he was at the stadium and posed in front of the cameras, hand in hand with Kadyrov. The Chechen leader was later accosted by reporters eager for his take on the Egyptians.
"I consider them to be one of the strongest teams in the world," a smiling Kadyrov answered. "Mohammed Salah is the best footballer in the world, and an overall perfect person."
Salah is considered a rival for Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the fight for the title of the world’s best footballer this season after he scored 32 goals in 36 appearances for Liverpool and led his team to the Champions League final. The 25-year-old striker’s participation in the World Cup was in question after he suffered a shoulder injury in that very final after what many believe was a dirty play by Real Madrid’s defender Sergio Ramos.
Salah has been included in Egypt’s lineup for the Mundial, but it’s currently unclear if he’ll be able to appear for his country’s opening march against Uruguay on June 15 or the crucial second game against host Russia.