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We can’t focus on Salah only, says Russia coach Cherchesov


(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

coach believes his team can’t focus solely on in their World Cup game against group rivals Egypt.

Hosts Russia will kick off their World Cup campaign against Saudi Arabia on Thursday. They will then face Egypt, who will be playing their first World Cup game in 28 years, on May 19 before playing their final group game against Uruguay six days later.

The 54-year-old coach stressed that Salah is one of the best players in world right now, but added that there are other important players in the Pharaohs’ 23-man squad.

“Salah is a prominent player not on Egypt’s national team level only but on the club level as well,” Cherchesov told Al Arabiya satellite channel.

“Salah scored many goals which means he’s a great player. I will work on stopping him but we play against a whole team, not Salah only.”

The 25-year-old’s participation in Egypt’s opener remains in doubt as he’s still recovering from a shoulder injury that he picked up during Liverpool’s UEFA Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

“We want to put in good performances and our goals is to advance out of the group and then we will see what we can do after that,” he added.

Cherchesov also sent a message to Egyptian and Saudi fans who will be supporting their teams’ in the global showpiece event. “I want you to come to Russia to support your teams. You won’t regret any moment you spend here.”

Editor-in-Chief at Pursuing a master's degree in sport policy, management and international development at the University of Edinburgh.

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