Mohamed Salah is rightly jealous of former Liverpool team-mate Dejan Lovren appearing at the World Cup, according to the Croatia defender.
Lovren is set to feature in the finals for Croatia and the centre-back knows he cannot come up against ex-Reds colleague Salah, who failed to qualify with Egypt.
A missed penalty from Salah in a shoot-out against Senegal in March proved costly as the Pharaohs missed out on a place in Qatar.
Asked on Sunday whether Salah would be jealous of him making it to the tournament, Lovren said: “One hundred percent! I would be jealous too.
“He said he would support me but, to be honest, I’m sad he didn’t qualify. He was very close. He said he would come… with the Croatian flag!”
Croatia start their campaign against Morocco on Wednesday.
Salah helped Egypt beat Morocco during the Africa Cup of Nations in January, scoring in a 2-1 quarter-final victory, and he might have been able to give some useful pointers for Lovren.
“Did he give me a tip for Morocco? I didn’t ask him, maybe it’s too late now,” Lovren said.
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Lovren helped Croatia finish as runners-up at the 2018 World Cup, playing in the final against France, and he is adamant going one better is not out of the question this time.
In fact, Lovren is taking inspiration from how Liverpool rebounded from losing the 2018 Champions League final to Real Madrid, returning to the showpiece match a year later and beating Tottenham to take the trophy.
“We have everything we need, we just need to show it on the field,” Lovren said. “I like this combination of seasoned veterans and young lions. A lot of things need to come together, everyone needs to be in their best shape.
“My personal thought, when I came to Qatar, was that I wanted to win the cup. When you have faith in yourself and in the team, anything is possible.”
Lovren, now 33, plays for Russian club Zenit.
He is in the twilight of his international career and added: “If we were so close four years ago, why can’t we do it again?
“That’s what I said after the Champions League final when we lost to Real in 2018, so we became European champions a year later. Everything is possible in football, you just have to believe.”
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