Monday 22 October 2018

Salah: Ramos sent a message but I never told him it was OK

Salah remains uncertain if he will play in Egypt’s opening Group A clash with Uruguay. Photo: Reuters
Salah remains uncertain if he will play in Egypt’s opening Group A clash with Uruguay. Photo: Reuters

Jamie Holland

Mohamed Salah has not buried the hatchet with Sergio Ramos following their tangle in the Champions League final which forced the Liverpool player off injured and left him in a race to be fit in time to play for Egypt in the World Cup finals.

Salah told Spanish newspaper 'Marcait' that it was "funny" for Ramos to claim he was the one fouled when the pair clashed and insisted he had not told the Real Madrid captain that all was fine between them.

"He sent me a message, but I never told him it was 'OK'," said Salah, who arrived in Russia yesterday with his Egyptian team-mates.

"My comment is that it's always OK when the one who made you cry first, then makes you laugh. Maybe he could also tell me if I'm going to be ready for the World Cup?"

Salah remains uncertain if he will play in Egypt's opening Group A clash with Uruguay.

Meanwhile, Paul Pogba is almost certain to start France's World Cup opener against Australia, according to Les Bleus manger Didier Deschamps.

Jeered

The midfielder was jeered by his own fans during a 3-1 friendly win over Italy and failed to inspire in a drab 1-1 draw against the United States, but Deschamps told France TV broadcaster Telefoot it is "very likely" the Manchester United midfielder will start next weekend.

He added: "Paul Pogba has responded rather well to my expectations. I defended him after the match in Nice against Italy. He was much better against the USA."

The France boss also offered assurances over Olivier Giroud's fitness after the Chelsea striker was forced off following a clash of heads with Matt Miazga.

"Olivier Giroud has a beautiful cut of six centimetres but he will be able to face Australia," said Deschamps, who defended Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris after the 1-1 draw in Lyon.

Lloris failed to keep out Julian Green's shot at his near post, which he appeared to have covered, as the USA took a shock first-half lead with their attempt on goal.

Kylian Mbappe fired home a second-half equaliser, but Les Bleus squandered several other chances and were well below-par in their final warm-up match before the World Cup finals.

"Everyone will have their own analysis of Hugo's season," Deschamps said. "Yes, he made three errors with Tottenham that cost goals, but he played 60 games and also earned points for Tottenham and France."

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