Egypt will reach 2026 World Cup: Egypt’s coach Vitoria

Ahram Online , Thursday 22 Sep 2022

The Pharaohs new coach Rui Vitoria on Thursday laid out ambitious goals for the Egyptian national team, stressing that they will reach the 2026 World Cup.

Egypt s coach Vitoria
Egypt s coach Vitoria

Vitoria hopes to do better than his predecessor, Carlos Queiroz, who lost his post after Egypt failed to reach the 2022 World Cup, losing to Senegal in the playoffs.

“We will be ready to go as far as possible in all competitions,” Vitoria told a news conference on Thursday ahead of Egypt’s friendly against Niger.

The Portuguese coach will officially start his mission with the Pharaohs during two friendlies against Niger and Liberia, on 23 and 27 September, respectively.

“Normally I do not like to make promises. But I want to tell you that Egypt will be present at the 2026 World Cup.”

Vitoria heaped praise on the quality of his players adding that he had hoped all players would have been able to join by the now-ongoing training camp by its start.

However, the Pharaohs camp started without Zamalek and foreign based players who joined the camp days after its start.

The four Zamalek players were delayed playing with their club in a CAF champions League match. They are also set to miss the second leg scheduled on 25 September.

The matter was a subject of a big debate between Zamalek and the Egyptian Football Association (EFA), as the club management asked the EFA to regain their players before the second leg.

“I do not know who is the responsible for setting a club engagement during a FIFA date,” Vitoria said, adding “but the coach has the right to have all his players. Such a matter should not be repeated in the future.”

“I am so satisfied with the players response during the camp,” he said, but qualified it by adding “but it is not logical that they will learn all things after four or five session only.”

“The players’ selection will be based on our goals and the level of our opponents and their ability to apply the coach’s tactics, especially as coming camps will be shorter.”

Asked about the snub of Zamalek keeper Mohamed Awad, Vitoria said that there is no problem with the player and he likes his performance with his club.

Earlier this week, Vitoria announced a 27-man list that saw the absence of the Zamalek keeper who produced a string of strong displays, being a key player in Zamalek’s successful league campaign that saw the club win the title.

Local reports said that the Awad snub was the result of an agreement between Vitoria and Zamalek coach to give the club the chance to keep their first keeper in their game against Elect Sport in the Champions League.

But the 30-year-old keeper said that he spoke with his coach at the club who told him that there was no agreement.

“Normally I do not make any comments regarding my selections but I will make this time as an exception.

“First, I like the performance of Mohamed Awad and he was among eight Zamalek players selected in the preliminary list.

“In the final list I called-up only four players given the club will play in a continental game.”

“Any ways I will not explain my choices again,’’ he concluded.

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