Russia 2018: Egypt under the spotlight

By Mutala Yakubu
Egypt will be at Russia 2018
Egypt will be at Russia 2018

Egypt are one of the brightest representatives Africa will have at Russia 2018 World Cup.

The Pharaohs as they are nicknamed have for long enjoyed prestigious status on the continent.

Till date, the Pharaohs (men’s national team) are the record African Cup of Nation (AFCON) title holders with seven trophies.

Russia 2018 will be their first World Cup since 1990 and their third after playing in the 1934 edition as well.

Two goals from Salah against Congo secured a spot for the Egyptians who have been absent from the tournament since 1990.

Egypt are in Group A of the Russia World Cup alongside host Russia, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia.

Here is a closer look at the Pharoahs of Egypt


Coach

Héctor Raúl Cúper will lead Egypt to Russia 2018Egypt are being managed by Héctor Raúl Cúper a former Argentine retired professional footballer.

He was appointed in 2015 as the head coach of Egypt and has qualified them to Russia 2018 World Cup after a long absence.


Star players

 

Salah

Mohamed Salah will be the star man for Egypt in Russia 2018There is an old saying that " Al Ahly is Egypt and Egypt is Al Ahly" but that narration has changed.

Egypt is now Mohamed Salah and Salah is Egypt. The 2017 African Footballer of the year is highly revered all across the Nile.

He is seen as the man who single-handedly qualified them to the World Cup.

His two goals against Congo was very crucial for the Pharaohs.

Although injured, the Liverpool forward will ultimately be the star man for Egypt as he is expected to be fit in three weeks time.


El Hadary

El Hadary will become the oldest player in the Egypt squad Russia 2018They say old wine taste better, so is Egypt's safest pair of hands Essam EL Hadary.

Veteran goalkeeper El Hadary will be that man who would want to finally show the World he has outlived the test of time to be in Russia 2018.

The 45-year-old started his international career six years after Egypt’s last appearance in the World Cup in 1990.

The goalkeeper boast of 156 caps for Egypt and Russia 2018 will certainly be his last stint with Egyptian football.


Mohammed Elneny

El Neny will marshall the midfield for Egypt at Russia 2018The Arsenal midfielder will have a taste of his first World Cup.

Strong, visionary and powerful are a few attributes of the former Basel midfielder.

His passing ability will be needed greatly in Russia 2018. He was very instrumental as he kept things tidy for Egypt in the 2017 AFCON.



The best thing about them

Salah and Ramadan Sobhi will be key for EgyptEgypt plays entertaining football which is full of attacking intent, their front line of Mohamed Salah and Ramadan Sobhi would be a threat to several opposition defences.

Fans

 Fans of Egypt will be at Russia 2018They have one of the most passionate fans on the African Continent.

About 80,000 Egyptians attended their final World Cup qualifying match against Congo in Burg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria.

Many also watched the match in the public places like cafes and clubs.

Read also:Russia 2018: Nigeria under the spotlight

Many Egyptians after the match said that they are planning to travel to Russia to attend the World Cup and support their national team.

 

The worst thing about them

Hegazy and Gabr have no World Cup experienceEgypt struggle when they play European opponents, their backline of Hegazy, Ali Gabr are all playing their first World Cup with no experience at that level.



Here is Egypt's Preliminary 29 -man squad:

Coach Hector Cuper has named a preliminary 29 man squad for Russia 2018Coach Hector Cuper will prune the squad to 25 for the Russia World Cup.

GOALKEEPERS: Essam El-Hadary (Al Taawoun), Mohamed El-Shennawy (Al Ahly), Sherif Ekramy (Al Ahly), Mohamed Awad (Ismaily).

DEFENDERS: Ahmed Fathi (Al Ahly), Saad Samir (Al Ahly), Ayman Ashraf (Al Ahly), Mahmoud Hamdy “El Wensh” (Zamalek), Mohamed Abdel Shafy (Al Fath), Ahmed Hegazi (West Brom), Ali Gabr (West Brom), Ahmed El Mohamady (Aston Villa), Karim Hafez (RC Lens), Omar Gaber (LAFC), Amro Tarek (Orlando City).

MIDFIELDERS: Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Mahmoud Abdel Aziz (Zamalek), Shikabala (Al Raed), Abdallah El-Said (KuPS), Sam Morsy (Wigan), Mohamed ElNeny (Arsenal), Mahmoud “Kahraba” (Ittihad), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City), Mahmoud “Trezeguet” (Kasimpasa), Amr Warda (Atromitos).

FORWARDS: Marwan Mohsen (Al Ahly), Ahmed Gomaa (Al Masry) Ahmed Hassan “Koka” (SC Braga), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

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