Last weekend, Egypt erupted in celebration when they beat Congo Brazzaville in a 2-1 victory, qualifying them for the 2018 World Cup games in Russia. The Egyptian National Football Team, The Pharaohs, had not qualified for the games since 1990. Soon after their victory, many Egyptians began asking for the return of exiled footballer, Mohamed Aboutrika.

What started as a simple post quickly caught fire and swarmed around social media networks. Tens of thousands of Egyptians are now demanding that Aboutrika be brought back to Egypt to play in the World Cup games next year.

Living in exile

Mohamed Aboutrika was once a shining star on Egypt's national football team. He helped lead Egypt to victory three times at the African Cup of Nations in 2006, 2008, and 2010. The 38-year-old former football star was exiled in 2013 after President Sisi outlawed the terrorist organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood.

The list of charges for Aboutrika runs long. He has been accused of financially supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, which led to all of his assets being frozen by Egyptian authorities. He is currently living in Qatar, which is known for being a safe harbor for terrorist supporters and sympathizers.

In response to the tens of thousands of football fans who are begging to have him back for next year's World Cup games, he gave credit to Egypt's current players.

He thanked his fans on Twitter and said, "I don't steal the efforts of others. Those men deserve to be there on their own."

Egypt's shining star

Currently, the most famous football player on Egypt's national team is Mohamed Salah. He scored the winning penalty kick in the qualifying game against Congo Brazzaville and also plays for Liverpool.

Many Salah fans have spoken out against the calls for Aboutrika's return.

One Egyptian TV talk show host and avid Sisi supporter spoke out in favor of Salah. He said that Salah was loyal to his country, unlike Aboutrika. He attempted to quash any rebuttals by stating, "He (Salah) is Egypt's only star."

Salah has been coined as a true patriot after his hefty donation last December of 5 million Egyptian pounds (approximately $300,000) to a development fund that was founded by President Sisi.

With his World Cup qualifying goal, Salah has managed to become a legend. Millions of Egyptians now refer to him as Egypt's Golden Boy. Some have even gone so far as to say that he is a genius.

With the massive amounts of backlash around any form of support for the Muslim Brotherhood and the increase in terrorist attacks in Egypt, it is unlikely that President Sisi will welcome Aboutrika back with open arms. If the exiled football player returns to Egypt for any reason, he will be met with handcuffs and lifetime prison sentence.