Egypt star Mohamed Salah has apologised to fans after seeing his nation eliminated from the World Cup without a single point.
Salah went into the Russia finals with doubts over his fitness after injuring his shoulder in a clash with Sergio Ramos during Liverpool's Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in May .
The Africans' misery was compounded in Group A's dead rubber on Monday , with Salah's early goal overturned by Saudi Arabia to seal a record of three losses in as many games.
Reports from Russia suggest that the latest defeat led to angry scenes in the Egypt dressing room after full time, with an irritated Salah alleged to have been the first to board the team bus.
But Salah has vowed to return to international football's biggest stage as he begged disappointed Egypt fans for forgiveness.
"We want to apologise to all the Egyptian fans who came to support us here in the three matches, I know it is difficult for them, like us," the 26-year-old stated.
"I just want to say that Egypt reached the World Cup after 28 years, some players here do not have the required experience. Thanks to all of them and we will back again in 2022."
This World Cup marked the first time that the Pharoahs had reached the finals since 1990, which in turn marked their first appearance since the second tournament back in 1934.
Egypt are still waiting for their maiden win at the finals, having drawn two and lost five of their World Cup games to date.
Coach Hector Cuper was forced to deny rumours that Salah would leave the Egypt national team after the 2-1 defeat to Arab rivals Saudi Arabia, and wouldn't comment on why his star player hadn't turned up to the scheduled press conference.
"I don't know why Salah is not here," he told reporters. "He was with the doctor but I can't confirm why he isn't here.
"Problems within the squad? I don’t know what you mean. As far as I know there have not been problems.
"I don't think [Salah will quit]. I don't think it's true because all those who are here really appreciate the opportunity. I don't think that's true."