Press conferenceHow Mohamed Salah will channel his AFCON agony for Liverpool and Egypt
Jürgen Klopp empathises with Mohamed Salah’s Africa Cup of Nations disappointment but has backed Liverpool’s No.11 to channel his feelings positively.
Salah was back at the AXA Training Centre on Tuesday, less than 48 hours on from Egypt’s penalty shootout defeat to Sadio Mane’s Senegal in the AFCON final.
Klopp said on Wednesday: “He is very disappointed obviously. It was a massive thing. Losing a final is always really, really hard – I can sing that song.
“But losing the way they lost it is especially hard and that’s what he felt as well. So yes, he is happy to be back but he is disappointed as well, massively so.
“We spoke obviously about the tournament and everything and we will see. He will deal with that of course and I hope that today it will already be better, but yesterday everybody could see he still has the final in his mind.”
Salah is in contention to return to club action against Leicester City on Thursday night and Klopp was asked whether his top scorer could now be even more motivated for success.
“Greater determination than Mo already had? I’m not sure that’s human,” the boss replied.
“The experience always… like playing a tournament, not knowing where it will go to then qualifying in the hardest possible manner for the final.
“Then against the favourite to win the tournament, playing a game like Egypt played was an absolutely great final when you think about what they already invested before, both teams, and how hard they fought. Especially Egypt, how hard they fought to keep them quiet, these incredible talents of Senegal.
“So yes, that all helps in the long term but I don’t think there’s a lot of space for more determination in Mo’s mind. He is very determined and using these kind of things is a job for all of us.
“When you lose a final, and we are obviously the best example for that, that’s really hard, really, really hard. But if you use it for the next big game or the next big tournament then it can be at least helpful even when it was still hard.
“So he will benefit from it, we will benefit from it, but in which kind exactly, I don’t know.”