Mo Salah receives hero's welcome as Egypt arrive at AFCON

Mohamed Salah has touched down in the Ivory Coast ahead of the start of the Africa Cup of Nations this month, with a video showing the Liverpool superstar receiving a warm welcome from the adoring public.

The Reds' No. 11 is set for a period of absence from club football as he competes to win his first-ever international crown with Egypt.

The 31-year-old may have helped guide his nation to their first World Cup appearance in 28 years when they qualified for the 2018 tournament in Russia, but he is yet to lift silverware for the Pharaohs.

While Egypt are AFCON's most successful ever side (seven previous wins), Salah's own rise to prominence came just after his country's period of continental dominance, during which they won three tournaments back to back from 2006 to 2010.

Salah has been a runner-up twice at AFCON, most recently losing the 2022 final on penalties to then Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane and Senegal.

This time around, with Salah in top form, Egypt are among the frontrunners for the crown – though Morocco and Senegal are generally considered the bookies' favourites.

The Liverpool winger appears to be taking his club form with him to Africa, playing a key role in both goals as Egypt beat Tanzania 2-0 in their only pre-tournament warm-up game last week.

Now the Egypt squad touched down in the Ivory Coast, where the tournament will be held, earlier this week, with the Egyptian FA posting a video showing the reception Salah has been receiving in the country alongside the caption 'Africa has one star'.

Egypt kick off their tournament this Sunday as they take on Mozambique in the first game of Group B.

After that, Salah and co will face Ghana (Thursday 18 Jan) and Cape Verde (Monday, 22 Jan).

How many games Salah misses for Liverpool depends on how far the Pharaohs go in the competition beyond the group stage. What is clear is that the Reds will miss their top scorer this season, with Salah also leading both the Premier League's goals (14) and assists charts (8).

Speaking about his star man's departure, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp joked: "I said if I wish them good luck it would be a lie. No, but I do [wish them luck] obviously.

"From a personal point of view I would be happy if they go out in the group stages but it's probably not possible. So it's fine and they can go and win it as well.

"Good luck, see you and come back healthy.

"I am pretty positive we will find a way [to replace them] but we have to show that on the pitch."

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