Jurgen Klopp described Mohamed Salah’s deep disappointment after returning to Liverpool following Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations final defeat, although the Reds manager hopes he and the team can “benefit” from the pain.
Salah and Egypt were penalized on penalties by Senegal during the AFCON match on Sunday, while Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane scored the winning goal.
While Mane is returning from Senegal’s celebrations – given more time to “just enjoy it, have fun” and “come back very quickly”, about the end of Wednesday – Salah has already joined Liverpool.
The champion should be in line to face Leicester City in the Premier League on Thursday, although he appears to be injured due to a heart attack.
“She’s very disappointed, obviously,” manager Klopp said Wednesday. “It was great.
“The defeat in the final is always very difficult – we can sing that song – but losing the way they lost is very difficult.
“She ‘s happy to be back, but she’ s also disappointed – very much.
“I hope today will be better, but yesterday everyone could see that he still has the final in his mind.”
Asked how Salah would react to relegation as Liverpool are still pursuing four titles, Klopp replied: “Greater determination than Mo already has? I’m not sure that’s human.
“To play a tournament, you never know where you are going, and you win as hard as you can in the finals, and you compare to the favorites of the tournament playing a game like Egypt, which is a very good final, considering what they have all invested. already earlier – both teams – and how much they fought – especially Egypt, how hard they fought to keep a team like Senegal quiet – yes, that helps in the long run.
“But I don’t think there is room for more determination in Mo’s mind. He is very determined.
“Using these types of items is the responsibility of all of us when you lose in the finals – obviously we are a good example of that.
“If you lose in the final, it’s really, really, really hard. But if you use it for the next big game or the next big tournament, it can help at least if it’s still difficult.
“You’re going to benefit from it, we’re going to benefit from it, but in what way really, we don’t know.”
With Salah in the squad and Mane joining him soon, Klopp is close to having a full squad of players to choose from – although he does not add captain Jordan Henderson has a back problem.
Liverpool will be aiming to end two consecutive league defeats against Leicester, their last three consecutive defeats in 1963. No team has ever beaten Klopp’s Reds in the top flight during his tenure (four – tied with Manchester City.)