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Salah aims to put smiles on Egyptian faces with World Cup berth

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Posted on September 11, 2013

Mohamed Salah aims

In an interview with FIFA.com, and Egypt star vows to bring joy to Egypt by qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil next year.

Mohamed Salah hopes to continue his great form last season that saw him score against top English Premier League clubs Tottenham and the eventual winners Chelsea in the Europa League. His performances brought the 21-year-old into the limelight and he has since been linked with moves to big European clubs, telling FIFA.com: “The club’s marketing director informed me that there were offers from Fiorentina, Olympique Lyon and Tottenham Hotspur. But what I care about is the amount of playing time I will get.”

Though Salah believes that he should only move if he is guaranteed first team football, he said: “It’s not worth it to go to any team, earn good money and sit on the bench. Playing is what matters most.”

Salah has played a vital role in Egypt’s games thus far and has helped the Pharaohs overcome huge obstacles to win Group G in the World Cup qualifying group stages with 18 points from 6 games. The domestic league was suspended amid the turmoil the country was going through and the previous season was also stopped due to security concerns following the Port Said disaster. So far Salah has scored six goals from six World Cup qualifying games for Egypt and is currently Africa’s top goalscorer, but he doesn’t want to stop there, he wants to go all the way to Brazil.

“We have been playing in difficult circumstances since the start of the qualifiers because of the football stoppage in Egypt and the problems facing the country,” Salah said about the possibility of being drawn against another of the continent’s giants in the final hurdle before Brazil 2014.

“But the most important thing will be to have luck on our side and think about the people who are eager for happiness. A qualification for the World Cup is the biggest thing that could make the people happy.”

Salah reflected on his time at FC Basel so far: “It was not easy for me. I did not know how it would be like in Europe and whether I would adapt to the atmosphere there. But the first year went well, and I did not really suffer from any homesickness.”

“My priority was to achieve my primary target of succeeding there. As long as I’m playing well and achieving my goals, there is no point being concerned about any off-field issues. I hope I can play a role in changing the view that some people have about Egyptian players abroad.”

Salah is aware that he needs to work on his finishing after being criticized for not being clinical enough, especially for Basel. He said: “If people are speaking about only one deficiency in my game, then this is a good sign, I’m not sad. [Finishing] can be improved in training, so this is something I can work on.”

– Ahmad Yousef

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