KIEV (Reuters) - Liverpool’s Egypt forward Mohamed Salah is doubtful for next month’s World Cup after suffering a shoulder injury in Saturday’s 3-1 Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid, his club manager Juergen Klopp has said.
Salah, who scored 44 goals in all competitions for Liverpool this season, left the field in tears in the 31st minute after falling heavily under a challenge by Real captain Sergio Ramos.
The Egyptian tried to continue after receiving treatment on the pitch but was forced to leave the game. However, Egypt’s FA said on Twitter that Salah had sprained shoulder ligaments and they were optimistic he would be fit for the World Cup.
Egypt’s Youth and Sports Minister Khaled Abd El-aziz said on his Facebook page: “It is expected Salah will need 2 weeks for treatment. He will stay in Liverpool and will have there the rehab period then will join the Egyptian team camp in Italy.
He added that Salah would be in Egypt’s final World Cup squad which will be announced on June 4.
Klopp earlier told a post-match news conference: “It’s a serious injury, a really serious injury. He is in the hospital for an X-ray. It’s either the collarbone or the shoulder itself. It doesn’t look good, that’s it.
“We lost a very important player, like probably Egypt lost for the World Cup a very important player. I still hope it’s not like this,” he said.
Salah’s performances this term, following his move from AS Roma, have made him Liverpool’s top performer and a national hero. Egypt will be at the World Cup for the first time since 1990 and face hosts Russia, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia in Group A.
Klopp said the injury to Salah had sent his team into shock after they had made a strong start against Zinedine Zidane’s side and added that it had handed the momentum to Madrid.
“It was for me kind of a harsh challenge because the arm is there, it’s like wrestling a little bit and the shock to the boys was obvious,” he said.
German coach Klopp was given a round of applause when he ended his news conference and also received generous praise from reporters for his jovial manner in defeat and for taking Liverpool so far in Europe’s elite club competition.
Real substitute Gareth Bale struck twice, including a stunning overhead kick and a speculative long-range strike that deceived Liverpool keeper Loris Karius, who was also at fault for the first Real goal scored by Karim Benzema.
“Bale’s goal was unbelievable. We did what we could, the boys tried everything,” Klopp said, having lost a second Champions League final after a 2-1 defeat by Bayern Munich in the 2013 showpiece when he was in charge of Borussia Dortmund.
“It was not the best script for us tonight. I know (we had a great campaign) but I can’t feel it. You go to a final to win it, and if you don’t you feel like you failed. It was a proper chance for us tonight and we didn’t take it.”
Additional reporting by Richard Martin in Kiev and Osama Khairy in Cairo; Editing by Ken Ferris