'Better' Salah hopes to play in Egypt's opener
MADRID • Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is confident he will be fit enough to take part in Egypt's World Cup opener against Uruguay in Yekaterinburg on Friday.
He has told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi he is recovering following a shoulder injury in the Champions League final. "The President was reassured on the health condition of the player, who affirmed that his condition is improving notably," presidential spokesman Bassam Radi said.
Earlier yesterday, Salah also told Spanish newspaper Marca that he is hopeful of being able to play in Egypt's first game.
Spain offered bumper bonuses for repeat win
MADRID• Each member of the Spain squad will take home a win bonus of €825,000 (S$1.29 million) should they lift the World Cup in Russia.
Sports daily Marca reported that the Spanish Football Federation has offered more than the incentives for holders Germany (€350,000) and favourites Brazil's €800,000.
Achilles the cat to forecast Cup results
ST PETERSBURG• A deaf white cat named Achilles will be Russia's official soothsayer for the World Cup, following in the tentacle-prints of Paul the Octopus,who starred in 2010.
Paul predicted winners by choosing between two boxes containing food while Achilles will pick bowls marked with teams' flags. For the World Cup, Achilles will move out of his lifelong home of the basements of the Hermitage in St Petersburg, where he works with a team of other cats to keep the world-famous museum free of rodents, to live in the Cat Republic cafe nearby.