Cape Town - Having been forced off injured during Liverpool's Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid, Mohamed Salah feared he was set to miss the World Cup.
Salah was hurt during a tussle with Sergio Ramos with the scores level at 0-0. Real Madrid went on to win the game 3-1, with Salah's injury proving to be a turning point in the game.
"Leaving the final was the worst moment of my career," the 25-year-old told Marca.
With Egypt having qualified for only their third ever World Cup, Salah's thoughts turned to his race against time to recover.
"I began to think that I would miss the World Cup, it was devastating," he said.
Illustrating just how much the tournament means to his country, the winger added: "For us to qualify for the World Cup is almost like Spain winning the title."
Egypt are still sweating on Salah's fitness, but coach Hector Cuper has said he is optimistic that the Liverpool star will recover in time to face Uruguay on 15 June.
Salah scored 32 goals in his debut Premier League season for the Reds, having previously featured in the competition during an unsuccessful stint at Chelsea.