The forward is an icon for his home country but has yet to deliver on-field glory at international level
Mohamed Salah has done “nothing” for the Egypt national team despite his icon status from club level performances, according to former Pharaohs boss Hassan Shehata.
The Liverpool forward is comfortably his country’s most recognisable sporting star, with a slew of honours earned at Liverpool in recent years.
Still, Shehata – who led the country to three successive Africa Cup of Nations titles and departed the top job just before Salah made his senior debut – feels that he has not provided his country with the success that he should have done.
Ex-Egypt manager’s critical Salah comments
“Technically, and I’m sorry to say this, but Mohamed Salah [has done] nothing with the national team,” Shehata was quoted by the Egypt Independent.
“He should have done much better than that. He must provide more when he plays for his country.
“He should have said this to the officials here, although he is not the one who chooses the players, but he should have said that the players here are not like the players in England. Therefore, the coaches have to find a way to open the space for Salah. We must find players to help him appear properly in the pitch.”
How does Salah’s Egypt record measure up?
Those are bold claims from Shehata that might be unfair to Salah’s cultural importance in Egypt as a global star.
Salah did suffer the double whammy of Afcon heartbreak and World Cup qualification failure this year, and he has so far failed to steer them to a major honour, but it was his five goals in the qualification stages for the 2018 World Cup that fired the Pharaohs to a first tournament appearance since 1990.
Egypt have also earned second-place Afcon finishes with the help of Salah at Gabon 2017 and Cameroon 2021.
Furthermore, Salah sits second on the nation’s all-time goalscorer list, with 47 finishes in 85 caps, a haul bested only by the legendary Hossam Hassan, who clocked 68 in 175 matches. Salah could conceivably break that mark if he intends to play all the way through qualification for the 2026 World Cup.