The footballing season has ended with more of a whimper than a bang for Mohamed Salah. After his prolific scoring helped Liverpool to a Champions League final, Salah was equally instrumental in guiding Egypt to this summer's World Cup in Russia.
Ultimately, both have ended in disaster.
While he will undoubtedly return to England determined to go again for Jurgen Klopp's side, Salah's international future is less certain, however. Egypt's stand-out player coming into the tournament, the Liverpool man has had less than a perfect build-up - the nation's football association causing much of the friction.
After initially clashing over the improper use by the Egyptian FA of Salah's image rights, the former Roma and Chelsea man has reportedly expressed his displeasure at being "used politically and is [now] considering ending his affiliation with the Egyptian national team as a result."
The incident in question involved Salah being pictured with Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov. A huge marketing opportunity for the divisive Kadyrov, he subsequently made Salah an “honorary citizen of the Chechen Republic."
Mohamed Salah has been offered the Chechenian citizenship by the president of Chechen Ramzan Kadyrov. pic.twitter.com/g4rlOrKGx5
— Mootaz Chehade (@MHChehade) June 22, 2018
Mohamed Salah has been awarded honourary Chechen citizenship by Ramzan Kadyrov. The dictator presented the footballer with a badge and a copy of the decree at dinner. #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/qn6TwNmqs1
— Karim Zidan | كريم زيدان (@ZidanSports) June 23, 2018
A supporter of (and supported by) Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin, Kadyrov's global reputation is marred with accusations of human rights violations and reports of extrajudicial killings and torture.
Although nothing is likely to be decided before the conclusion of this summer's World Cup, this may be one issue that Salah and the Egyptian FA may not be able to bridge.