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11:02    11 Jan 2017

Ahmed Elmohamady: Mohamed Salah isn’t world class yet

Egyptian defender Ahmed Elmohamady has explained that his national teammate Mohamed Salah still has some work to do before he is considered a ‘world class’ player.

Elmohamady and Salah are set to be key players for the Pharaohs when they participate in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, which gets underway in Gabon this weekend.

It will be Egypt’s first showing at the tournament since 2010 and they are amongst the favourites to claim the trophy, both because of their pedigree (the Pharaohs have won a record seven AFCON titles) and the quality of players they can call upon.

Salah is considered their kingpin, with the former Chelsea attacker having established himself as one of the most exciting players in Italy’s Serie A with his searing performances for Fiorentina and Roma in recent years.

However, Elmohamady told CNN in an interview that Salah is not yet at a level where he can be compared to the world’s best players.

“Everyone expects him to score goals, to give a good performance every match. Of course it puts pressure on him, but he’s dealing with it well,” Elmohamady explained.

“Hopefully he’ll keep doing that, for him as a player and for the national team.”

The Hull player added, “He’s not yet a world-class player. He’s a very good player, but he’s not [Cristiano] Ronaldo or [Lionel] Messi yet. I hope one day he will be.

“He needs to work harder and improve. I know the Italian league is good, but hopefully he will come back to the Premier League again with a big team. It would help him a lot.”

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