Mohamed Salah admitted it was difficult to put his emotions into words after his two goals booked a place at the World Cup finals for Egypt for the first time since 1990 on Sunday evening.
The Liverpool forward struck a brace in the qualifying clash with Congo at the Borg El Arab Stadium, including a dramatic 95th-minute penalty, to ensure his country a spot in next year’s tournament in Russia.
It sparked great scenes of celebration across Egypt – and afterwards, Salah was quoted in local media as saying: “I can’t really express how I feel, I don’t quite talk so much but I’m really proud. We realised a long-awaited dream.
“That was to me a dream come true, whether as a footballer or an Egyptian citizen and fan. I’m proud I made the Egyptians happy by scoring today twice against Congo.
“The game was a difficult one and all the qualifiers were difficult games as well, today there is no big difference between every team and the other.
“When I stepped up to take the penalty, I didn’t think of anything but scoring and winning the game.
“The most difficult moment in my life was when the fans fell silent following Congo’s equaliser but thank God we finally realised a childhood dream of my own.”