The Egyptian superstar has left the national team to return to Merseyside for treatment following his hamstring injury. However, this decision has not gone down well in his home country.

Jurgen Klopp has passionately defended his player Mohamed Salah from recent criticism following the Egyptian national team captain's decision to leave their Africa Cup of Nations camp to return to Liverpool for treatment.

The 31-year-old left Anfield for his national side and led them onto the pitch for the first two games of the tournament. Unfortunately, the Premier League sensation suffered a hamstring injury in the second fixture, a 2-2 draw with Ghana, and was forced off before halftime.

Things were made worse when Klopp unexpectedly announced that the winger would be returning to Liverpool during his post-match interview for the Bournemouth trip, sparking anger in his home country.

Egypt legend Ahmed Hassan, the Pharaohs' most-capped player of all time, even slammed the Liverpool star, arguing that the national team captain should have stayed with the squad for the remainder of the tournament "even if he only had one leg to stand on".

Furthermore, some have gone as far as questioning Salah's allegiance to his country but Klopp has hit back at all these claims, stating that the attacker's decision to return was in the best interest of his country.

Speaking before their Carabao Cup semifinal against Fulham, which the Reds won to make the final at Wembley, an animated Klopp also pushed back on the suggestion that Liverpool and the player were colliding to plan an early return.

The German spelled out in clear words the intentions of all the involved parties: Salah needs the best treatment available to recover in time and to return to the national team in the latter stages of the tournament, should Egypt go far, and that treatment is in Liverpool.

"Egypt and Liverpool both have the same interest, we want Mo Salah fit as soon as possible," the German boss told beIN Sports. 

"If he stays in Africa and they can't do the proper treatment, it will just delay everything, especially for Egypt if they go through the tournament. 

"We bring him here not because we want to take him away from Egypt but just to offer the best medical treatment. It's all agreed. If Salah is fit and Egypt go to the final, it was always clear, he goes back, 100%. Mo wants that, we want that."

Klopp slammed those questioning Salah's loyalty to his country, adding: "If somebody questions the loyalty of Mo Salah they should ask themselves if their loyalty is right, because Mo Salah is definitely the most loyal Egyptian I've met in my life."

Regardless, many fans will likely hold ill feelings towards their skipper following his early departure. The seven-time Africa Cup of Nations champions made it to the round of 16 by the skin of their teeth, drawing 2-2 with Cape Verde in their final group-stage match and are now set to face DR Congo in the knockout stage.

As pointed out by Klopp, Salah will return to the national team should Egypt go far in the tournament and the player be deemed fit. However, the odds of that occurring are slim as he is set to be sidelined for 3-4 weeks, possibly even longer if the winger suffers a setback.

Furthermore, the Pharaohs are not expected to go far in the Africa Cup of Nations, which is being staged in Ivory Coast. As mentioned earlier, Rui Vitória's side have failed to impress so far and have not won a single game yet, drawing all three fixtures so far.