Al-Hilal star Carlos Eduardo set to return after serious injury

Carlos Eduardo is all smiles again after it was announced he has recovered from a serious knee problem. (@Alhilal_EN)
Updated 16 May 2018

Al-Hilal star Carlos Eduardo set to return after serious injury

  • Brazilian has been out since November
  • Al-Hial set to welcome him back for pre-season

Whoever turns out to be Al-Hilal’s new manager will be boosted by the news that star midfield Carlos Eduardo has been declared fit to start pre-season.
The Brazilian playmaker has been out since November after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the first leg of last year’s AFC Champions League final. He underwent surgery in Brazil and missed the rest of the season.
Al-Hilal struggled badly without him, suffering a shock King’s Cup exit, crashing out of this year’s AFC Champions League at the group stage and crawling over the line in the Saudi Pro League by a point. He has scored 50 goals for the Riyadh giants since joining in the summer of 2015 and scored seven in last year’s AFC Champions League. He linked up particularly well with Omar Khribin, the Syrian striker who wasn’t quite the same force without his Brazilian sidekick.
But the good news for Al-Hilal fans is that Eduardo is well on the road to recovery and a tweet from the club’s English language Twitter account said he will join in “pre-season preparations next Friday after completing his recovery and rehab programs.”
In the absence of a new manager, another tweet said pre-season would be “directed” by head coach Juan Brown, fitness coach Abdulaziz Al-Dawsari and goalkeeping coach Dan Zdranca.
Team manager Fahad Al-Mefarej is heading to Italy, along with the team administrator Waleed Al-Qassem, to choose a suitable location in Italy or Austria for the pre-season training camp.
In another injury news, midfielder Ahmad Ashraf “will start his recovery and rehab process next Friday” after surgery on his lower abdominal muscles while defender Abdullah Al-Hafith is making “significant progress” in his recovery from a cruciate knee ligament injury.
With the playing squad and pre-season preparations taking shape, the Al-Hilal board now need to step up their search for a new manager. Quique Sanchez Flores and Shakhtar Donetsk manager Paulo Fonseca have turned down the chance to coach the Saudi Pro League champions while talks with Sporting manager Jorge Jesus are thought to be ongoing. It is understood that a salary in excess of €6 million ($7 million) has been made available for the right candidate.

Watch: Ramos laughs as Mo Salah leaves pitch in pain

Updated 5 min 21 sec ago

Watch: Ramos laughs as Mo Salah leaves pitch in pain

  • Video footage captures Ramos apparently laughing and smiling as a distressed Salah is walked off the pitch
  • There's doubt over whether Salah will now be able to play in the World Cup

DUBAI: Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos is definitely not the darling of the Arab world after bringing down Mo Salah in the Champions League final on Saturday, and dislocating the Egyptian’s shoulder in the process.

But a short segment of video has sparked even more outrage, dashing any hopes he might have had of being forgiven by Salah fans around the world.

The footage captures the moment a tearful Mo Salah is walked off the pitch, clearly in pain – the camera then quickly pans round to Ramos who is watching, smiling and laughing.

It was always going to be a fiercely fought match, Real Madrid the defending champions, Liverpool eager to claim back the trophy it last held in 2005.

Egyptian footballing superstar Salah was running towards Real Madrid’s goal in the 26th minute, the ball about to land in front of him when Ramos came in for the challenge and the two fell to the ground – Salah’s arm apparently pulled by the Spaniard.

Many outraged Arab football fans have taken to social media expressing their view that the move by Ramos was intentional, that he purposefully targeted Salah, while others say it was a fair challenge

The Liverpool striker played on for another four minutes before falling to the ground, before leaving the pitch, while being consoled by Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Now – as Egyptians everywhere worry that Salah’s injury, so close to the World Cup tournament, will prevent him from playing at all – the images of a smiling Ramos will leave a bitter taste.