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Former Liverpool defender says Mohamed Salah would be ‘jealous’ of him being at World Cup

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Dejan Lovren jokes Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah would be jealous of his 2022 FIFA World Cup participation

Former Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has jokingly claimed that superstar Mohamed Salah is sad about the fact that the defender is playing in the FIFA World Cup and he is not.

Salah’s Egypt missed out on World Cup qualification after losing to Senegal in the playoff finals where former Liverpool man Sadio Mane scored the decisive penalty.

Lovren, talking in an interview (h/t Liverpool Echo), about his close friend Salah, believes the Egyptian is sad that his national team did not qualify for the World Cup but insists he would come to Qatar with a Croatian flag.

“100%. I would also be jealous. What’s he been saying? That he will support me. I mean, it’s nice to hear that, but to be honest I’m sad that he didn’t qualify.”

“He was so close, but Mane was better. He has said he will come… with a Croatia flag!”

Mohamed Salah and Dejan Lovren developed a close relationship at Anfield

Lovren and Salah became good friends during the Croatian’s time at Liverpool wherein he appeared for 185 games for the club and won the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool during that period.

A shrewd no-nonsense defender, Lovren found himself falling in the pecking order behind Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomes and ultimately parted ways with Liverpool.

Things are different with the national team where he is considered a very important member of the squad and was integral in Croatia’s run to the FIFA World Cup final in 2018.

He would be looking to do the same in the tournament this year with Croatia now seen as one of the stronger teams in the competition.

Egypt's Mohamed Salah walks past the AFCON Trophy after losing to Senegal.
Egypt’s Mohamed Salah walks past the AFCON Trophy after losing to Senegal. (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)

For Salah, in spite of the successes he has found with the club, the same could not be said for his time with the national team.

Egypt first lost the AFCON cup to Senegal before the same time eliminating them in the playoff round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Salah joins an array of stars who would be missing the World Cup and would surely be missed on the biggest footballing stage.

For now, Salah has to contend himself by supporting the teams of his colleagues and friends and at the same time, get the well-deserved rest and be energised when the season resumes.

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In a selfish way for Reds fans, perhaps Salah not going to Qatar isn’t the worst thing, given the effort we need in the second half of the season to secure a top-four finish.