Egypt may have crashed out at the group stage of the World Cup with three defeats from three following a limp campaign in Russia.
But Mohamed Salah, scorer of their two goals in the tournament, remains a national hero in his home country.
This week the Liverpool star’s address was leaked on Facebook, and crowds gathered outside his home.
And the 26-year-old decided to meet and greet his adoring fans, even signing autographs for them.
The treatment offered to Salah despite his nation’s feeble showing on their return to the world stage after 28 years away shows the high esteem he is held in.
In October last year he scored the decisive last-minute penalty that sent the Pharaohs through with victory over Congo.
Injury had threatened to rule him out of the World Cup completely and he was forced to watch their first game from the bench, a last-minute defeat by Uruguay.
Though not fully fit he shrugged off the shoulder injury sustained in a collision with Sergio Ramos in last month’s Champions League final to start Egypt’s next two games.
A 3-1 defeat by the hosts Russia consigned them to an early exit, despite Salah scoring from the penalty spot.
He opened the scoring in the final group game against Saudi Arabia before his team-mates collapsed, cruelly conceding another last-minute winner.