CAIRO, Egyptian and Arab fans are eagerly waiting to see Egypt national football team play in the 2018 Russia World Cup, ending a 28-year absence from the globe’s top football championship.
The Egyptians aspire to present a good show that satisfy the fans back home and will work hard to advance from the group stages to the second round.
Egypt’s Manager Hector Cuper said he was preparing the players before the World Cup, which would begin in Muslims’ holy month of Ramadan.
Egypt’s group includes host nation Russia, in addition to Saudi Arabia and Uruguay.
The Egyptian team; known as the ‘Pharos’, will play its first game against Uruguay on June 15; the tournament’s first match, while host Russia and Saudi Arabia are next respectively.
Egypt qualified for the World Cup, for the third time in its history, after beating Congo 2-1 in the African qualifiers.
Mohammad Salah, who plays in English Premier League outfit Liverpool, scored the winning goal from the penalty spot in the 4th minute of the injury time to take his country’s team to Russia.
Salah, 25, won the English Premier League’s player of the year and has become Liverpool’s top scorer this past season.
Egypt was the first Arab and African team to reach the World Cup in 1934. It also qualified for the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
The Pharos are record holders in number of times winning the African Cup of Nations; seven times, of them three in a row: 2006, 2008 and 2010.
In the two previous World Cups, Egypt could not make to it out of the group stages.
Egypt’s veteran goalkeeper Essam Al-Hadhari, 45, will be the oldest player in the World Cup history should he be given the chance to play.
Four Arab teams qualified for the Russia World Cup: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Morocco.
Source: Kuwait News Agency