Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is confident he will be fit enough to take part in Egypt’s World Cup opener against Uruguay in Yekaterinburg next Friday.
The 25-year-old went off with a shoulder problem in the first half of Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in last month’s Champions League final.
But the speedy forward expects to play some part in Egypt’s first Group A fixture in Russia.
“Now I’m feeling better,” Salah told the Spanish daily. “I’m hopeful of being able to play in our first game, but this will depend on how I feel when the day comes around.”
Salah laughed off Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos’s claim that he would have been able to continue in Kiev had he taken a pain-killing injection.
The Liverpool attacking midfielder, who scored the penalty that sealed Egypt’s place at its first World Cup appearance in 28 years, insists they are not in Russia to make up the numbers.
“We’ve got a great team and a great coach. We want to get into the next round and do things well there,” he added.
“We’re strong as a group, we all have the same objective, which is to win and that’s the most important thing. We don’t just have one strong point, but the main thing is we play together as a group.
“The pressure was to qualify for the World Cup. Of course, you can then say ‘right, we’ve got there, that’s that’, but for me it’s not like that. We want to make history and achieve something different.
“It’s not a simple case of going, playing three games and thank you very much. That’s not going through my head.”
Saudi Arabia and hosts Russia are the other teams in Egypt’s group.