Born in the town of Nagrig just outside Cairo, Salah started of his footballing career with El Mokawloon. He would trek for four and a half hours just to train and reach his dreams of representing his country.


It started with Swiss club, FC Basel, which arranged a friendly match with Egypt’s U-23 side in a bid to scout some of the country’s rising talents. Salah was then part of the squad and made his mark after he scored two goals during the match. Easy to say, Basel took advantage of the opportunity and signed the prolific winger. Shortly after his signing, he went on to represent Egypt during the 2012 Olympics in London.


More recently, his participation in Liverpool’s Champions League final against Real Madrid was ended in sadness due to a shoulder injury. When Salah went down under Madrid defender Sergio Ramos’ heavy tackle in the 30th minute of the final on 26 May, a hush fell over the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine. When he was finally substituted a few minutes later, unable to carry on, there was a sense that his World Cup participation could be at risk.


He is scheduled to meet up with his team-mates in Cairo for an open training session on Saturday 9 June before the squad departs for their camp in Russia. Egypt coach Hector Cuper said; "we have very good news from our doctor, we hope he will be with us before Uruguay. We are optimists and we are waiting for him.” The tactician admitted that Salah is an important player for the Pharaohs, but said the team cannot afford to depend on one player for the tournament which gets underway next week Friday.


There is a patent appreciation for Cuper as well, certainly among the players and his inner circle. Appointed in March 2015, the much-travelled former Al Wasl manager took the team to the Africa Cup of Nations final, then to Russia 2018. At 62, he seems as purposeful as ever, constantly barking instructions at his team, his Spanish interpreted by able assistant Mahmoud Fayez.


It has nevertheless been a wonderful year for Salah, one where comparisons with the godheads of modern football, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, have seemed perfectly natural. The 100 million or so Egyptians will tune in and zone out next week, compelled to witness their national team at a World Cup once more. Almost three decades since the last.