As the final World Cup squads are being announced, both Egypt and Belgium have confirmed major boosts for their hopes in Russia this summer.
All 32 nations involved will be desperate to see their squads at full strength and to avoid any late setbacks, but both Mohamed Salah and Vincent Kompany have certainly handed their coaches a scare.
Salah was of course forced off with a shoulder injury in the Champions League final last month, lasting just 30 minutes before a challenge with Sergio Ramos left him in tears on the pitch.
Meanwhile, as noted by The Guardian, there were fears over Kompany’s involvement after he suffered a groin problem in a warm-up friendly last week.
The 31-year-old has been dogged by problems in recent years and so it would have been a huge concern for Belgium to be without their influential captain, but as seen in the tweet below, he has been included in the squad travelling to Russia.
Whether or not he is able to play a prominent role remains to be seen, as the same could be said of Salah with both countries perhaps selecting them in hope that they will be able to be fundamental figures.
Nevertheless, that would surely be too much of a gamble and unfair on others pushing to make the final cut, and so while time will tell if they can feature from the first game onwards, they must surely be considered fit enough to be available in the group stages at some point.
Belgium get their tournament underway against Panama on June 18, while Egypt are in action against Uruguay on June 15 for their opener.
From a neutral perspective, the World Cup will be a better tournament if all the leading stars are available for selection and so it’s a positive thing to see both Salah and Kompany included.
— KingFut.com (@King_Fut) June 4, 2018
Belgium world cup squad announced:
Vincent Kompany ?
Christian Benteke ? pic.twitter.com/vC95Qzbl28
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 4, 2018