Why only 1 of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane will be at 2022 World Cup

It’s Sadio Mane vs. Mo Salah, only one can make it to the World Cup this year after the playoff draw was confirmed on Saturday.

After the conclusion of their World Cup qualifying groups, Senegal were named as a seeded team in the draw, whereas Egypt were categorized as an unseeded side.

It set up a potential collision course for the Liverpool pair, which has now come to fruition following the draw.

The two-legged playoff is to be played during the March international break, pitting Mane and Salah against one another for a single spot in Qatar at the end of the year.

Both Senegal and Egypt were convincing winners of their respective groups in the second round of African qualifiers, while also having made it to, at least, the last-16 of the Africa Cup of Nations this month.

Mo Salah and Sadio Mane celebrate (Image: Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith)

  • Senegal vs. Egypt in two-leg play off
  • Tie to be played in March international break
  • Only one of Mane or Salah will be guaranteed a place at the World Cup
  • 8 Liverpool players already qualified for the World Cup

But now one will see the other end their hopes of representing their country on the biggest stage in international football for the second successive time.

Senegal and Egypt both qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and failed to make it out of the group stage, with aspirations to go further no doubt held by both.

For Liverpool, it sets up an intriguing international break in March that will guarantee at least one being at Qatar in November.

The pair are not the only ones having to navigate a playoff to secure a place in the competition, with Andy Robertson‘s Scotland, Diogo Jota‘s Portugal and Wales’ Neco Williams all still vying for a place.

Takumi Minamino still has work to do with Japan, which continues in the upcoming January/February international break.