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Egypt legend Hany Ramzy urges team not to rely on Salah

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Hany Ramzy wants the Egypt team to avoid placing the entire burden of their Africa Cup of Nations hopes on Mohamed Salah.

Salah was in sublime form in Cairo on Friday as Egypt began their AFCON on a winning note by defeating Zimbabwe 1-0. However, the Liverpool star failed to get on the scoresheet after being denied superbly by the in-form keeper Edmore Sibanda.

Instead, Mahmoud Trezeguet was the hero for Egypt after smashing the ball into the bottom-right corner of the net. The hosts then held on to go top of Group A despite a nervy ending to the match.

But Ramzy, who now works as an assistant coach for the Pharaohs, warned the players against the tempting prospect of relying too heavily on Salah.

“For sure Salah has everything to determine a result on his own, but we don’t put all the responsibility on Salah,” Ramzy told Goal.

“With his technique and his speed he can make all the difference, but we don’t put the entire burden on him as it is impossible to overstretch one player.”

Ramzy and head coach Javier Aguirre will likely be hard at work trying to get to the bottom of Egypt’s drop in performances towards the end of their AFCON opener.

“Admittedly, we didn’t look good today, but the most important thing for us was the start for a big tournament like this,” Ramzy confessed.

“We needed to score, win and claim maximum points. For sure we can play better football and entertain the fans, but the team felt a bit tired and we allowed Zimbabwe have more possession than us.

“But in the end, we won 1-0 and starting with three points is the most important thing.”

Ramzy himself made 124 appearances as a defender for Egypt and helped the national team win the AFCON in 1998.

The Pharaohs will next take on DR Congo on Wednesday, where victory may be enough to book a spot in the last-16.