On Tuesday, Sadio Mané and Senegal eliminated Mohamed Salah and Egypt from World Cup contention, marking the second time this year Mané has handed disappointment to his club teammate following his country’s Africa Cup of Nations triumph.
After his own game on Tuesday, a 1-1 friendly draw against Germany, Netherlands and Liverpool star centre half Virgil van Dijk reflected on the difficult situation for Salah—and said he hopes his teammate can use the tough result as fuel.
“I feel sorry for Mo and for Egypt, but football is sometimes like this,” Van Dijk responded in his post-match interview when told of Mané’s victory and Salah’s defeat. “I am sure he will turn the disappointment into success for the rest of the season.
“We still have everything to play for with Liverpool so there are a lot of things still left to achieve for him this year. As for Sadio, I wish him all the best and if he is in our group then he is going to need all of that good luck.”
While AFCoN defeat and now failing to qualify for the World Cup is unquestionably a blow, Salah will return from international duty to rejoin a Liverpool side that has won the League Cup and is in the thick of things with three more trophies to play for.
First up is a league tie against Watford followed by the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Benfica, a potential league title-decider against Mnahcester City, the second leg against Benfica, and an FA Cup semi against City.