CAIRO, Egypt, May 14 – Egypt coach Hector Cuper is hoping star striker Mohamed Salah can transfer the stellar form he’s shown for Liverpool this season to the national side at the World Cup in Russia.
Salah, the Premier League and African player of the year, became a national hero over the leading role he played in helping Egypt qualify for their first World Cup finals in 28 years.
“We hope that he will exploit the progress he’s made as a striker at Liverpool,” said Cuper on Monday.
On Sunday, Salah set a new single-season Premier League scoring record after notching his 32nd goal of the season for Liverpool, surpassing the old mark of 31 goals he had shared with Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez.
Prudent and reserved as ever, Argentine Cuper refrained from making any World Cup predictions for ‘The Pharaohs’.
The competition will be “tough”, he said of Egypt’s Group A rivals Russia, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia.
“But we have hope,” he added. “We’re optimistic.”
Egypt will play away to Kuwait on May 25, tackle Colombia in Italy on June 1 and then travel to Belgium on June 6 in three World Cup warm-up matches before travelling to Russia.
Egypt lost to Portugal (2-1) and Greece (1-0) in their last two friendlies.