Although not quite celebrated in media worldwide, football has always been quite a popular phenomenon in the ‘land of the pharaohs on the banks of Nile’. Not only that, Egypt has time and again displayed an impressive quality of football in international games which have resulted in accolades for the Egyptian soccer team from various levels of the football fraternity. In the upcoming Confederation Cup, Egypt has been placed in Group B along with USA, Brazil and Italy making the group definitely a ‘death around the corner’ case. However, fans and experts are still hopeful about Egypt, if not about their chances in the tournament, at least for witnessing some remarkable instances of football skills in the course of the competition.
The team that is most likely to take the field in the Confederation Cup games will apparently be selected from their current squad which consists of the goalkeepers Essam El Hadary, Abdel Wahed Al Sayed and Amir Abdelhamid, defenders Mahmoud Fathallah, Abdelaziz Tawfik, Ahmad El-Sayed, Hani Said, Ahmed Fathy, Wael Gomaa, Ahmed Al Muhammadi and Ahmed Samir Farag, midfielders Hosny Abd Rabo, Mohamed Shawky, Ahmed Hassan, Mohamed Barakat, Ahmed Eid Abdel Malek, Ahmed Khairy and Mohamed Aboutrika, while Mohamed Zidan, Emad Motaeb, Ahmed Hossam “Mido”, Amr Zaki and Ahmed Abdel-Ghani will be playing as forwards. The team is supposed to be lead by Ahmed Hassan who is the most experienced member of the team in terms of age as well as the number of appearances in international games. At 33, he has played a total of 152 matches with 26 shots in the net. He is considered by many as the player to watch out for in the tournament.
While Hassan Shehata’s boys can never really be considered as a favorite especially in their group which has two of the greatest giants of international football, they can definitely be the true underdogs of the tournament. Egypt has one of the most enriched traditions of soccer history in Africa. It was the first African team to enter the FIFA World Cup way back in 1934 and again repeated the feat in 1990. They have also played in the Olympics and finished fourth twice in 1928 and 1964. Presently they are the defending champions of the African Nations Cup tournament which have really boosted their confidence and increased the level of expectations and excitement among fans and members of the football fraternity all across the globe. They have proved themselves as the most successful African team over and over winning African Nations Cup six times in 1957, 1959, 1986, 1998 and back to back wins in 2006 and 2008. They have also been the runners up in 1962 and finished in the third spot on three occasions in 1963, 1970 and 1974. However, their Confederation Cup statistics fail to impress with only one first round show in 1999 and nothing else in the history of the tournament making this time only the second outing for Egypt in Confederation Cup.