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DO WHAT RAMOS DID

Russia defender Ilya Kutepov says one way of stopping Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah at World Cup is to injure him

Liverpool forward already battling to be fit for World Cup after injuring shoulder in clash with Ramos during last month's Champions League final, and his pains may not be at an end

RUSSIA defender Ilya Kutepov hinted his side will use dirty tricks in the style of Sergio Ramos to neutralise Mo Salah in their clash with Egypt at the World Cup.

The Liverpool forward is his country's biggest chance of advancing from Group A, and is already battling to be fit as he recovers from Ramos' bruising assault during last month's Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev.

 24-year-old centre-back Kutepov has seven caps for his country
Getty - Contributor
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24-year-old centre-back Kutepov has seven caps for his country

Ramos was widely criticised for his challenges on Salah, culminating in a challenge that saw the 44-goal man substituted after just 31 minutes.

But Zenit St Petersburg centre-back Kutepov suggested the Egyptian was unlikely to find any respite when he takes to the pitch against the host nation on June 19.

Kutepov said: "Salah's game doesn't worry me.

"How do you stop him? Well, you can do what Sergio Ramos did for example.

 Ramos sparked outrage for his treatment of Salah during Real Madrid's 3-1 Champions League final win against Liverpool
AP:Associated Press
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Ramos sparked outrage for his treatment of Salah during Real Madrid's 3-1 Champions League final win against Liverpool
Mo Salah refuses to confirm if he willl play at the World Cup after Champions League final injury

"He showed us one way of stopping him and I can't say that I was upset when I watched him get injured in the final.

"I wish him a quick recovery and I'll be happy if he plays at the World Cup because it helps you improve when you play against such a genius."

 Salah arrived in Russia with his Egyptian teammates on Sunday
Getty - Contributor
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Salah arrived in Russia with his Egyptian teammates on Sunday

The game, to be played at Kutepov's home ground in Saint Petersburg, could be crucial in deciding the fate of Group A, with the winner likely to progress behind favourites Uruguay.

Egypt are unlikely to be cautious with Salah's fitness, desperate for him to play every minute possible, and he arrived with the team in Russia on Sunday.

The Pharoahs face Uruguay in their opening group game on Friday in Yekaterinburg, before their crunch clash with Russia four days later.

Saudi Arabia are Egypt's final opponents in Group A, on June 25 in Volgograd.


ALL SYSTEMS MO Mo Salah fit as he arrives in Russia after training with Egypt for first time since Sergio Ramos injured him in Champions League final


 Salah attended Egypt training on Saturday evening but did not take part in the session as he continues his recovery from the shoulder injury
AFP or licensors
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Salah attended Egypt training on Saturday evening but did not take part in the session as he continues his recovery from the shoulder injury

Salah is a national hero in his native land, having scored the winning penalty against Congo in October that sent Egypt back to the World Cup for the first time since 1990.

His influence is not restricted to the football field either, with a million Egyptians voting for Salah in March's presidential elections, despite the slight issue of him not actually standing as a candidate.

 Mo Salah could be targeted by more players at the World Cup
PA:Empics Sport
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Mo Salah could be targeted by more players at the World Cup
 Salah's 32 Premier League goals in 2017-18 set a new competition record for a 38-game season
PA:Press Association
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Salah's 32 Premier League goals in 2017-18 set a new competition record for a 38-game season

And the forward also endeared himself into the hearts of Liverpool fans after his £43million move from Roma last summer, with a record 32 goals in the Premier League and a further 10 in the Reds' run to the Champions League final.

A petition for Uefa and Fifa to ban Ramos, as well as a €1billion lawsuit from an Egyptian lawyer, were launched after the Real captain's antics during the final, where two goals from Gareth Bale gave Madrid their third consecutive European triumph.

Egypt superstar Mo Salah returns to training in front of adoring fans in time for World Cup in Russia