Mohamed Salah might have had a forgettable 26th birthday as his team lost to Uruguay in their World Cup opener on Friday, but a group of fans from Chechnya brought a smile to his face with a 100-kilogram (220.4-pound) cake decorated with a golden boot.
Salah, who scored 44 goals for Liverpool last season, injured shoulder ligaments in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid on May 26 and was not risked in Egypt’s 1-0 Group A loss to Uruguay in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
Egypt’s talisman, who is expected to play in their remaining group games with Russia and Saudi Arabia, was presented with the two-tier cake in the colours of the national flag upon the team’s arrival at their training base of Grozny early on Saturday.
Salah smiled as he sang “Happy Birthday” with his teammates, team officials and hotel staff, but the brief celebration was visibly subdued and not everyone joined in.
“We could have celebrated more,” team director Ihab Leheta said, alluding to the loss to the South Americans.