All eyes were on Mohamed Salah ahead of Egypt vs Russia on Tuesday night.
After a remarkable season with Liverpool that has thrust him into Ballon d’Or contention, Salah has spent the past few weeks fighting for a return to fitness.
Salah picked up a shoulder injury during the Champions League final when Sergio Ramos brought him to ground with a controversial tackle.
It was originally thought that Salah would miss out on the World Cup but initial fears were vanquished when he was named in Egypt’s squad for the tournament.
He wasn’t ready for the opening match against Uruguay, though, with Egypt suffering a 1-0 defeat.
SALAH RETURNS FOR EGYPT
However, that wasn’t the case for the Russia game and it seems everybody was buzzing to see the Liverpool forward back in action.
That includes the pundits in the BBC Sport studio who had nothing but praise for the returning star.
Alan Shearer, in particular, had some brilliant words for Salah and just what made him so special for Liverpool last season.
SHEARER’S PERFECT ANALYSIS
To footage of some of the Egytpian’s finest goals, he noted: “Even if he was just 75% fit, it was a risk they had to take and if Russia have a weakness, and they do, it’s their lack of pace at centre-back.
“I think all of his goals have that something different, the first goal you saw was all about his pace, that was about skill and strength and obviously the finishing.
“They’re all different, pace, strength and technique, you name it.
“He was stood in the tunnel at times and you could see him knowing, not hoping or thinking, he’s going to score goals.
“That’s an incredible feeling to have as a centre forward and there’s not very many seasons that that lasts for.
“But he definitely has that, and you can see the fear in the defenders eyes when they’re lining up in the tunnel.”
When you have a player like Salah in your team, though, even his mere presence can have an effect on opponents.
That’s before you even consider the sheer skill and talent he can bring to a match.
Shearer had his analysis of Salah spot on in terms of psychology and his season with Liverpool; time will tell whether that holds up on the biggest stage in football.